These days, tales about the personal lives of athletes often leave you with a bad taste in your mouth, with it a piece of your childhood wonder dies a little.
This story is for the hopeless sports fan in all of us.
“As an avid sports fan, I’m all too aware of the endless number of athletes that are in the news for the negative things they’ve done,” Kris Brown, 35 , begins in an email to Sun Devil Athletics.
“As a father of four boys, each of them football players, I’m very concerned about any of them emulating some of the garbage they see from their favorite players on TV,” continued Brown. “It’s frequently disappointing. But I want to talk about what the other side of the coin, and someone I wish would get a lot more notice because of the good things he does, and that is Taylor Kelly.”
Brown sat next to the ASU quarterback in a class last spring and couldn’t resist telling Kelly about his four sons, ages 16, 12, 11 and 5, and their family’s love for Sun Devil Football.
Kelly’s interest was piqued, and over the next several months, he developed a relationship with the Brown family; exchanging texts with Kris and the eldest son, attending the Pop Warner game of the middle two and playing catch with the youngest.
“I’ve been an ASU fan my entire life,” Brown said. “But this season, basically because of Taylor, I ordered season tickets for the first time. I bought six.”
Here’s Brown at the Wisconsin game with his son Eli, who changed his jersey number to 10 in honor of Kelly.
"I don’t want to embarrass him," stated Brown. "Maybe it’s weird that I’m sending this. But I did want to tell someone that this guy is not only a fantastic player, but an even better person. He’s a role model in every sense of the word. And he has gone WAYYYYYYYYY out of his way with my boys."
Arizona Republic beat writer Doug Haller wrote a feature on the Browns as well. Check it out here.