I have recently read a large number of stories, articles, blog posts, twitter feeds, etc. saying how great of a person Eric Berry has been since arriving at the Chiefs training camp in St. Joseph – a great teammate, great to the fans, and of course a great player. Each time I’ve read something about this I swelled with Big Orange Tennessee Pride and considered posting about it. Unfortunately then I would hesitate and think that KC writers, and bloggers that are fans are, of course, going to be writing these things. However today I received an email that was forwarded to me from Bryan. I’m not exactly sure where it originated but it was a first-hand account of just how amazing Eric Berry is – and I’m talking about off the field. We already know how amazing he is one the field. The email I speak of will be copied and pasted in it’s entirety at the bottom of this post.
I figured that because I had decided to go ahead and write a post about Berry being a great guy, I might as well dig up some of the other quotes (key word: some) to share. Adam Teicher of the Kansas City Star wrote an entire article about the high quality character that Eric Berry embodies. Here’s a highlight…
Adam Teicher, Kansas City Star:
“Saturday’s scrimmage drew 10,721 fans, a record for Spratt Stadium at Missouri Western State University, despite the warm temperatures. Berry signed autographs afterward for about 20 minutes. He was the last player off the field.
“I love the fans,” he said. “Where would you be without the fans? They came out here and sat in the sun just like us. They came out here and supported us. I believe they set a record today in this stadium. I just wanted to show my appreciation.”
From another article Teicher wrote:
Berry then finished the practice by lugging not only his own equipment but that of two of his teammates off the field and up a hill toward the locker room.
Berry’s quote on the matter:
“These are (wide receiver) Dwayne Bowe’s pads and (cornerback) Maurice Leggett’s helmet,” he said. “I’m just thankful that we have really good vets on our team that have really just taken me under their wing.”
And finally, the email I received today:
First and foremost, I’d like to start off this post by saying just how awesome it is to have a young man like Eric Berry on the 2010 Kansas City Chiefs. Before heading up to Saint Joe today to watch the evening practice session, I had heard good things about Mr. Berry , you know normal stuff, he’s a character guy, he always stops and gives kids autographs, etc. But even all these good and positive statements could not prepare me for the awesome human that Eric Berry proved himself to be tonight.
After a two hour practice in 100+ heat, Berry made a B line straight for the autograph seeker section and silently started signing memorabilia on a day where the heat made it miserable enough that only one other Chief stopped to sign (Brandon Albert). However Mr. Berry ‘s commitment to the fans outlasted Albert’s and long after he had gone inside, Berry was still out there signing. Now, I have never been much for autographs; however, I had my two grade school aged nephews with me and, like all kids, autographs are king in their eyes. So, when they approached Mr. Berry and he readily autographed both their football and their hat, it was not so much of a surprise as it was greatly appreciated; but what Mr. Berry did on this night went a step further than I believe anybody could ask or expect out of a pro player.
A camp staff member had previously given my nephews a heads up that players sometimes give away their gloves after practice and told my nephews that they should ask Berry for his. When they asked Berry for his gloves he told them that he unfortunately had already given away his gloves today. Now keep in mind he had already signed a ball and a hat for these young men. Who could ever expect or ask any more of a player? But what happened next floored me.
Since Mr. Berry didn’t have any gloves, he took off his shoes, signed them, and handed them to my nephew’s. It was an awesome to see a guy who takes his role and image in the eyes of fans quite seriously, especially in a day and age of pre-madona players. Now I can’t say for sure that Eric Berry will give you the shirt off his back, but he sure as hell will give you the shoes off his feet…
God bless you Mr. Berry . The NFL and the Chiefs are lucky and better off to have such a kind man as the face of their product.
If whoever originally wrote that email would like to be credited for it please let me know and I would be more than happy to do so.