I come to you with a report from Matt Ryan Pro Camp… kinda. It was a one-day camp, so it’s really already come and gone, but it sounded better to say I was reporting from camp.
By the way, if you have a child in sports, there are a ton of camps like this that are reasonably priced (procamps.com). No. 2 just had a day of instruction and a couple of conversations with a star NFL quarterback for free. Can’t get more reasonable than that.
He got one-upped on the field, though. After he was throwing passes for a bit, Matty Ice asked for the ball, then, on the next play, immediately threw a touchdown pass to my son’s receiver. That kid’s parents were sitting right beside me. And then they were beside themselves. Their son had just earned a coveted spot in a club with Julio Jones, Roddy White and future Hall-of-Famer Tony Gonzales: He’s now a receiver who has caught a touchdown pass from Matt Ryan.
But that’s not what I want to write about this week. The real story happened on the way to camp.
No. 2 isn’t the best traveling companion. He gets bored, as any 12-year-old does. His usual method of passing the time: sleep. Shortly after he reached his mid-morning mobile slumber, I passed an SUV on the shoulder with hazard lights blinking and a woman standing next to it on the phone.
I must apologize; I totally profiled this woman and assumed she had car trouble and needed help. We had a good bit of extra time, so I stopped. Rather abruptly, actually. It made for quite the rude awakening for my son. Then he gave me a quick, “but we’re gonna be laaaaate!” I assured him that we had some time and exited the car to assess the situation.
It turns out, I was correct in my typical male assumption. However, not only did the woman need help but her daughter was in the car with her 10-month-old baby. The more I got pushed back by the gusts of wind caused by the 18-wheelers zooming by at 80 mph, the more I was glad that I stopped. AAA told her they might get there within the hour. So, I switched out her flat tire and had the three generations of strangers on their way within 15 minutes.
I returned to my car with a smile on my face, knowing that I had shown my son the importance of doing good deeds. Not only did I help these people, including an infant, move along from the side of a busy interstate. Not only did I get a great deal of satisfaction knowing that I helped solve a potentially trip-ruining problem for them. But sometimes, just sometimes, the people you help insist on giving you a little money for your efforts… and a bottle of wine from the case they had to move to get to the spare.