Blog Entry

Leonard Pope tells his side of rescue story

Posted on: June 17, 2011 5:42 pm
PopePosted by Josh Katzowitz

While most of the NFL news continues to be rather unpleasant – it seems like we spend much of our time writing  about the lockout and/or player arrests – let’s spotlight, once again, the greatest play Chiefs TE Leonard Pope ever will make.

We told you the other day about Pope rescuing a drowning 6-year-old boy named Bryson in Americus, Ga.

The rescue prompted Bryson’s mother to say, “All of a sudden, I saw Bryson going down in the water and I started screaming. Leonard was inside, and he came out of nowhere and dove into the water without any hesitation, cell phone in his pocket and all. He saved my son’s life, and I am so thankful that he was there for me and my child.”

Awesome news, right?

Well, let’s give Pope a chance to tell his side of the story. Mr. Hero, take it away.

“I was on my way out the house and I hear a scream, like a scream from a woman, a mother, somebody where the tone of voice where you know it’s real and someone’s in a lot of danger,” Pope told WQAM in Miami (via “She said, ‘He’s drowning! He’s drowning!’ I looked and I didn’t see no one. I looked at where she was pointing at in the water and all I could see was his little hands above the water. I didn’t wait for anyone else to see what they was going to do, my first instinct is I’ve got to get this child out of this water. I have two daughters myself and I told Bryson’s mom I would want someone to do that for me, too.

“I just ran and jumped in, cell phone, wallet, clothes and everything. I kind of jumped on top of him, but I positioned myself to grab him by the waist and bring him up above the water. I brought him to his mom. It was a perfectly safe environment with parents out watching and everything. What I think happened is that, you know how a pool levels out or something and then goes out to the deep end, I’m thinking he lost his footing. … He went down and couldn’t swim and couldn’t get back up. That’s when I ran and jumped in and got him.”

I can’t remember who first made this observation, but it was interesting that Bryson’s mom made specific mention that Pope didn’t take his cell phone out of his pocket, as if that act somehow made the deed a little more unselfish (if that’s even possible).

“It was a life on the line,” Pope said. “I can replace a cell phone or a wallet, but you can’t replace a kid’s life.”

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Category: NFL

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 8, 2012 10:39 am

Leonard Pope tells his side of rescue story

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 2, 2012 9:42 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Nov 28, 2011
Posted on: November 30, 2011 10:26 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: June 18, 2011 5:54 pm

Leonard Pope tells his side of rescue story

There does seem to be a strong tendency for sports stories (other than game reports) to focus on the negative of the participants. This is not the fault of the media - they write what sells. The fans gravitate to the negative stories and the hits make advertising money for the website. This phenomenon appears rooted in our desire to contrast another's actions as worse than our own. That can lift us up in our own minds (but not in the minds of others.)

Leonard Pope acted swiftly and courageously to save this child. He deserves more than the gratitude of the parents. He is receiving the applause of the nation. My question is this: since the commissioner acts so sternly to address community negative actions by players what will he do to bring even more recognition and appreciation to the player for his heroism?

Thanks, Josh, for sharing the bright side of the planet, even if only for a moment.

Since: Nov 3, 2010
Posted on: June 18, 2011 9:14 am

Leonard Pope tells his side of rescue story

Awesome! Now why doesn't a story like this dominant the news instead of some guys dui or domestic abuse?
Great job Leonard!!

Since: Feb 11, 2009
Posted on: June 17, 2011 11:49 pm

Leonard Pope tells his side of rescue story

LEONARD POPE RULES! You make all of us fans so happy that you are alive and thank you for being who you are.  To save a life is awesome and seriously anyone should give you the props you deserve.

Since: Feb 13, 2010
Posted on: June 17, 2011 11:01 pm

Leonard Pope tells his side of rescue story

Ok, he gets a special deal from the owners in this whole lock out thing.

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