We had a unique experience tonight. About two years ago, the BYU football team contacted my parents expressing interest in honoring my little brother as one of their “Thursday’s Heroes.” We documented that activity when it happened.
A few weeks ago, the BYU program contacted my parents again and said they were hosting a reunion of all the Thursday’s Heroes and we were invited to come back. So we went down to campus tonight to meet this year’s team. All the families got to come out on the practice field, listen to live music, eat a catered dinner by J Dawgs and Ruby River, and mingle with the football team and coaching staff. There were at least two players at every table to eat with the families and we decided to sit with Matt and Houston Reynolds. Matt is very highly regarded as a left tackle and will surely be drafted very high in the NFL draft should he declare his eligibility next spring. The great connection is that Matt served an LDS mission in Germany and was actually fed twice by my sister Lindsey and her husband Hans, who are stationed in Weisbaden for the US Army. He remembered her and said, “Yeah, she’s the one who sang very well.” Both Matt and Houston were very nice guys and easy to talk to.
Another funny connection was a guy I met in Anchorage, Alaska. When I was visiting my buddy for three days a few weeks ago, I went to church with him. While there, he introduced me to Eathyn Manumaleuna. I didn’t know who he was more than he had just returned from his mission to Oklahoma City and was planning on returning to BYU to play football this fall. I thought nothing of it. Well, I was walking around tonight and I saw him. I just started laughing, reconnected from my brief introduction in Alaska, and snapped a photo. I totally know where he’s from. And he’s pretty good, too.
After eating, we just kinda wandered around the field. It was really fun to watch the coaching staff and players really gravitate toward the Thursday’s Heroes. Whenever a player saw my brother Ammon without anyone talking to him, someone would come over and start chatting. Bronco went from table to table, not seeking out the drooling public, but rather to renew acquaintances with all the Thursday’s Heroes. Some players walked around handing out bracelets and stickers, all were signing autographs, all took photos with us, and all interacted and showed a genuine interest. It was a very nice gesture from the team to first of all even have a “Thursday’s Hero” program and secondly to hold this reunion. I’m a fan.
Twelve pictures are on our web album.