FRISCO (CBSDFW.COM) – While a lot focus is on the Dallas Cowboys, the NFL playoffs and the Super Bowl, there is someone else who North Texas fans should be rooting for.
A teenage boy from Frisco is a finalist in an NFL competition that rewards those whose passion for the game inspires others.
Tyler Sampson throws and catches like any other teenage athlete. “I just like football,” he said.
His bedroom is also a shrine to his favorite player – the person who inspired him.
“Demarcus Ware,” explained Tyler. “I met him at a grocery store I asked him if I could ever play football and he said ‘if you try you can do anything you want.’”
The words resonated with Tyler because he has only one hand. The 13-year-old was born missing the limb. But that hasn’t stopped him from becoming a star on his middle school football team.
Tyler admits that at first he was a little apprehensive. “I thought it would be more challenging but I thought why not give it a try.”
Tyler’s mom, Cindy, posted a video online after hearing about the NFL “Together We Make Football” contest. The proud mom said, “I was like ‘Tyler has a really unique story.’”
It came as a surprise when Tyler was chosen as one of 10 finalists whose stories have been turned into NFL short films. The top five from an online vote will win Super Bowl tickets.
Tyler can do things with one hand that many people can’t do with two. He’s not just a good football player but also enjoys baseball and bodybuilding.
Fortunately, Tyler’s smile draws a lot more attention than his short right arm.
While a trip to the Super Bowl would be nice, he said he’d prefer to someday as a player, and make the idol who inspired him proud. He said, “I think I have a pretty good shot.”
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