When the Denver Broncos were in Jersey City last week, there was one woman waiting outside of their Hyatt hotel with a heart half-filled.
Gina DiBenedetto waited six hours just to see Peyton Manning in person. She was unable to speak to him, but had the opportunity arisen, she would have simply said “Thank you.”
DiBenedetto wasn’t a necessarily a football fan until after her 12-year-old daughter, Kaylee, died in a house fire five years ago. Kaylee was a huge football fan, but Gina couldn’t bear to turn a game on.
On a Monday night in 2012, with Kaylee’s birthday was coming up, Gina was on the couch crying. She ended up turning her attention to football, which her husband had on. It happened to be the Broncos making their historic comeback from 24 points down at halftime against the San Diego Chargers.
“The metaphor did not escape her. Yes, life had delivered her a crushing blow. She had lost a child. She had lost everything she owned. She felt like she was down big at halftime, hopeless against such odds. But perhaps she could regain control, too?
“I never thought I would look to football the way I do now,” the 40-year-old DiBenedetto told espnW. “I can’t live without it.” – ESPNW
Get the full story here. It’s worth reading even if it is to just remember that football is only a a game, and it offers us distraction from the more intense areas of life. Not vice versa.