Posted 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 sportsradiointerviews.com). “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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