Every year around Christmastime there are so many heartwarming stories of just how far people will go to make the holiday a perfect one.
One such story is that of 17-year old Gage Friend and his six-year old brother. The Friend family are huge Baltimore Ravens football fans and, like most of us, spend countless hours cheering on the purple and black.
The Friend brothers even stayed up late enough to watch Ravens kicker Justin Tucker kick his game winning 61-yard field goal against the the Lions on Monday night. It was then that Gage knew what the perfect Christmas present would be for his younger brother.
The following day after school Gage was determined to make it to White Marsh Mall where the hero of the Lions game, Tucker, was on hand signing autographs at the AT&T store. Gage had made arrangements with a friend for a ride to the mall and was ready to make his perfect gift a reality.
However, as fate would have it, his ride never showed. Gage was – apparently – stranded.
Undeterred, just like his favorite football team, Gage refused to let a little adversity stand in his way.
Nope. Not that day.
Gage clenched his jaw, steeled his reserve, and decided he was going to make the five-mile trek from Essex to White Marsh…on foot.
“I promised my little brother that I would get him Justin’s autograph and I didn’t want to break that promise to him,” Gage stated when I asked about him walking such a distance. “It’s Christmas and I wanted to make sure he got the present he wanted. I figured people run marathons a lot longer than five miles so I knew I could do it.”
After hoofing it five miles in near-freezing temperatures, then waiting in line for over 50 minutes, Gage finally reached the table where Number 9 was signing. At that point, he was finally able to secure the Christmas present he set out for:
A Super Bowl Ravens hat with Justin Tucker’s autograph written across the brim, for his little brother.
A brother’s bond is special as anyone who has one can attest. You can fight one day and be best friends the next day. The Friend brothers will always have that special bond as they continue to cheer on the Ravens for many years to come.
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