It's Super Bowl Sunday and everyone is excited for another great game between the Patriots and this year’s opponent, the Rams. A lot of people have complained that we have to watch the Patriots play once again and most the country hopes they lose. It is after all the 9th Super Bowl they have played in since 2001. Normally I’d agree with those that want to see a new team but I’m going to give you at least one reason to cheer for New England... Kyle Van Noy.
Kyle and I became close when he was in college at BYU and even closer when I stranded us with no gas in Lake Powell and we had to sleep the night on my boat in the middle of Navajo Canyon. I’ve been lucky enough to be there through his journey both with the Lions and the last three seasons with the New England Patriots. Ive been able to celebrate with him the night he got engaged in Reno, the day he got married to Marisa, and the night he won the Super Bowl with the New England Patriots.
These are all amazing feats in themselves but I want to share with you a story that none of you know, a story that makes me prouder to be friends with Kyle than anything else he’s ever accomplished. (And he’s accomplished a lot!)
When Kyle was playing at BYU he was a local and national sports celebrity. Many believe that he is the greatest defensive player to ever play at BYU and I have to agree. Because of this there were always people trying to get his time and attention so needless to say he was a busy guy.
One day a close friend of mine Tyler Bennett called me and said, “Hey Jimmy I know you’re close with Kyle Van Noy and I need a huge favor.” He went on to tell me how one of the women at his salon Amara Day Spa has a daughter named Savannah that had just received some really bad news. She had an issue with her leg at the beginning of her Sophomore year of high school and they had to break her femur and reset the bones. She had missed the school year and been laid up for months. She was about to begin her rehab when 8 months after the surgery, the doctors discovered that the bone had not healed properly and they were going to have to break it and reset it all over again. She was now going to miss her junior year as well. The family was devastated.
Tyler knew that they were huge BYU fans and Savannah’s favorite player of all time was Kyle. Tyler called me to see if I could get Kyle to just hold up a sign that said, “Hey Savannah get well soon!” I said let me call him.
I called Kyle and explained the situation and all he said was, “Where does this family live?” I told him about 45 minutes away in Eagle Mountain and without hesitation he said, “Let’s go!” He called two of his teammates and close friends who had recently suffered season ending injuries and the 4 of us hustled out to their home.
That day I saw a side of Kyle that many obviously don’t see when he is harassing quarterbacks and tackling his opponents on the other team. In all, he spent almost an hour and a half sitting with this young girl, joking with her, comforting her, and letting her know that the tough times prepare us for whatever lies ahead. I’ll never forget her face when Kyle walked in the room. There wasn’t a dry eye by the time we left.
If you google “Kyle Van Noy and charity” you get a good idea just how big this guys heart is. He did dozens of little things similar to this in the time we spent together in Provo, things that no one ever saw and no one would ever know. He and his wife run a charity for adopted children that has become a huge part of the community in both Detroit and now Boston. I’m forever grateful to call this guy a close friend. I for one will be cheering as loud as ever for #53 to win Super Bowl ring number two!