FRISCO (CBSDFW.COM) – His inspiring story won him an once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Super Bowl.
Tyler Sampson, 13, was born without a right hand but he’s never used it as an excuse not to play sports.
Sampson is the starting outside linebacker for the football team at Griffin Middle School in Frisco.
His story was one of five selected in an online contest sponsored by the NFL with the grand prize being Super Bowl tickets.
However, when Sampson and his family were flown out to New York they discovered the game was just part of what the NFL had planned for them.
The NFL gave Sampson sideline access before kick-off, invitations to exclusive Super Bowl parties where he mingled with celebrities and NFL players and coaches.
Sampson said, being a Cowboys’ fan, his favorite moment was when he met Cowboys Head Coach Jason Garrett.
Come game time, 13-year-old along with his twin brother and father watched the game in a suite with former President Bill Clinton.
“I shook his hand and I got to talk to him for a little bit,” said Sampson about his meeting with the former president.
Not only did Sampson receive celebrity-like treatment, his father said this weekend in New York his son was a celebrity.
“I remember Whoopie Goldberg coming up and she gave him you could tell a true hug and said she was in tears watching his story and she loved his story,” said Doug Sampson.
On Tuesday it was back to homework and school for Sampson.
He said while he’ll never forget his Super Bowl experience, he still doesn’t fully understand why he was selected.
“I didn’t think I had anything special about me,” he said. “I know I have one hand. I’m just like, ‘big deal’. I don’t see what’s significant about it.”
(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)
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