NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Sometimes it’s hard to remember that NFL quarterback Jim Kelly played his entire Hall of Fame career in the state of New York.
The Buffalo Bills legend took his team to four straight Super Bowls, but lost them all.
Fate then dealt Kelly more personal hardships; as his infant son was diagnosed with a fatal nervous system disorder and Kelly himself would later battle cancer in his jaw.
Despite the heartbreaks and the challenges, the NFL great only saw the positives in his life on Thursday — giving thanks in one of the most emotional pregame tributes ever aired on CBS before a professional football game.
Jim Kelly has dealt with adversity on and off the field.
Despite everything he's been through, he's still thankful today. pic.twitter.com/R5vxlz4WFt
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) November 28, 2019
“When I look back on my life I’m so thankful that I had the teammates that I had, my wife, my two daughters and my son Hunter who is looking down on me,” Kelly said before his Bills took on the Dallas Cowboys.
“It taught me to never ever give up, to keep fighting and be thankful for each and every day.”
Kelly’s Thanksgiving message quickly went viral and left many on social media reaching for the tissue box.
Weird that I happened to get something in my eye during that Jim Kelly feature.
— Andrew Perloff (@andrewperloff) November 28, 2019
Wow that Jim Kelly intro… 😢 pic.twitter.com/xgP9YFEIsm
— Dawgs & Niners (@DawgsNiners) November 28, 2019
Jim Kelly pic.twitter.com/aFPhHhpLhc
— Michael (@AlbeeMichael) November 28, 2019
It was safe to say, aside from Cowboys fans, the rest of the NFL was rooting for Buffalo Thursday afternoon — even if you usually root for those other two teams from New York.
Even former NFL pro bowler Ryan Clark couldn’t hold back the water works.
Dang it! Jim Kelly got me in here tearing up and ish. Man, that got to ya boy.
— Ryan Clark (@Realrclark25) November 28, 2019
Kelly’s former team wouldn’t disappoint, stunning the Cowboys 26-15 in Dallas.
An inspirational day for that “other” team from New York.