Re-posting this story from September as a reminder that human beings are layered.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Trevone Boykin made his NFL debut against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, coming a long way from going undrafted this past May out of TCU. It was a special moment for Boykin — throwing his first NFL touchdown to Doug Baldwin early in the fourth quarter — but another one of Boykin’s favorite things to happen that day was a congrats text from a certain fan; a very unlikely fan at that, if you didn’t already know the backstory.
Last October, as starting QB for TCU, Boykin traveled to Iowa State as the number three team in the nation. Boykin threw four touchdowns in the win as the Frogs improved to 7-0, but the lasting impression left on him may have been meeting 7-year-old Abby Faber before the game. Faber suffers from cerebral palsy and was an honorary captain in the game for the Cyclones, but it wasn’t about the jerseys anyone was wearing before kickoff as Boykin went up to Abby and asked her what her name is.
"I just thought it was really cool at that time. (Boykin is) pumped up, ready for the game," her mother, Jenny, said when asked about the original photo. "To not only walk over to her but ask her what her name is and take that time is just truly a class act. It's very cool."
Two weeks ago, a TCU fan flew Abby and her family out to Texas as Iowa State went on the road to face the Horned Frogs. She was wearing Boykin’s jersey, her now-favorite player and there was a huge ovation from the crowd as her and her family was shown on the big screen at the end of the first quarter.
It’s been in large part because of Boykin’s simple gesture to greet Abby last year and the ensuing viral photograph that the Faber family has been able to crowdsource money to help with the medical expenses, with many of the donations coming from TCU fans.
Boykin and Faber have formed an unlikely bond and it’s hard to imagine at this point that either doesn’t have a non-family member who could have as much of an impact on their lives, even with small gestures like a “What’s your name?” and “Good game.”
Following Boykin’s NFL debut on Sunday, one of the most important messages he got was of course from Abby Faber.
"It was probably one of the texts I will remember more than anything," Boykin said Wednesday.
"It hit home hard just because seeing what she goes through and they support me and everything.”
There’s a chance that Boykin could see action for the second time in his young career this Sunday at MetLife stadium as the Seahawks travel to play the New York Jets with Russell Wilson healing from a sprained MCL. Every indication says that Wilson will start but Boykin is preparing like he’ll be playing this week, because as we’ve seen far too often this season, Seattle’s offensive line has not done a great job of keeping defenders off of the starter.
But the only question I have after reading through the story of Boykin and his young fan from Iowa is this: When are we gonna see Abby Faber in a Boykin Seahawks jersey?