For one little girl in Washington State, an official Thomas Rawls Seahawks jersey was the perfect Christmas gift, as evidenced by her exuberant response upon unwrapping the present. A video of her reaction to the jersey, which you can view below, was uploaded to Instagram, where it attracted over 500 likes in less than a day. One of those likes was Thomas Rawls himself, who was so moved by the little girl’s happiness in the video that he had to do something about it.
In the video, a little girl named Sophie Ayers receives a Christmas present that she is more than just a little excited about. She slowly pulls out the gift, aware that it is a Seahawks jersey, but unsure what name it bears. When she sees that it is, in fact, a Thomas Rawls jersey, she absolutely loses it, jumping up and down and screaming in that way that only little kids can get away with.
When Thomas Rawls saw the video on Instagram, CBS Sports reports that he immediately reached out to the little girl’s family, arranging to meet that very same day.
Sophie’s mother posted about the experience to Instagram, writing that they were able to meet both Rawls and his mother, visit the VMAC, and that Sophie even got to score a TD on the VMAC practice field.
For a little girl like Sophie Ayers, who was so excited just to receive a Rawls jersey, the experience of actually meeting the man was probably the best Christmas gift she could have possibly hoped for. But for Thomas Rawls, seeing the video of Sophie’s excitement at receiving a Rawls jersey was clearly just as important.
Posting to Instagram himself, Rawls wrote that seeing Sophie’s video helped him get out of bed when he felt like he had no energy. For Rawls, who is still pretty new to the NFL, and currently laid up with a season-ending injury, die hard fans like Sophie clearly mean a great deal.
Thomas Rawls was an undrafted free agent this year before the Seahawks snatched him up, and after an electrifying preseason, it looked like he would languish in the shadow of Beast Mode. Then Marshawn Lynch had to undergo sports hernia surgery that would hold him out for the rest of the season, and suddenly Rawls had an opportunity to shine. Fans like Sophie Ayers saw a glimpse of the future, with “mini beast mode” running all over the floundering San Francisco 49ers, on his way to posting big numbers against Pittsburgh and Minnesota, before going down himself with a broken ankle and torn ligaments.
For the Seahawks, it was a case of “next man up.” Russell Wilson and his receiving corps stepped up immediately, despite the loss of Jimmy Graham, and a platoon of former backups rushed in to try to fill Rawls and Lynch’s shoes, while Rawls himself lay in bed attempting to recover.
Rawls appeared to be in good spirits when he took over Q13 Fox’s Instagram account for a day, but rehab is hard enough without having to watch your team go on to the playoffs without you, unsure what the future holds.
“Think I can roll for 200 yards. I probably can’t run for 200 yards.”
For fans like Sophie Ayers, Thomas Rawls is clearly the future of the Seattle Seahawks, but only time will tell if that will be the case. One thing that isn’t in doubt is that Seahawks fans are lucky to have a player who is willing to do such a nice thing for a little girl on Christmas, even while currently struggling through rehab.
[Photo via Instagram]