Every Thanksgiving, CBS Sports does a special heartwarming feature before carrying its National Football League game.
Thursday on “The NFL Today,” starting at noon before the Chicago-Detroit game, it will have a Buffalo Bills angle.
The feature is on former Bills linebacker Aaron Maybin, the team’s No. 1 draft choice in 2009.
Produced by Charlie Bloom, who has produced all of CBS’ past Thanksgiving features, it tells the story of a draft bust who the network says “has been an MVP in the community.”
Here’s a CBS summary of the piece on Maybin, who played with the New York Jets and Cincinnati Bengals after the Bills cut him.
“He will truly be home this Thanksgiving. Born and raised in Baltimore, the former consensus All-American from Penn State and former first round pick of the Buffalo Bills is now living his dream as an educator, accomplished poet, artist and activist for Baltimore’s community. His hometown could not be more thankful. As one fellow teacher at Matthew Henson Elementary School stated, ‘Every day here is Thanksgiving with Mr. Maybin.’ ”
If the story sounds somewhat familiar, The Buffalo News carried a story about Maybin’s post-career life as an artist more than three years ago.
Bloom’s previous Thanksgiving features have included stories about Bill Johnston, the former San Diego Chargers public relations director who left his job to take care of his wife with Huntington’s disease; the late Minnesota Vikings coach Dennis Green; and former Vikings defensive end Chris Doleman.
The Maybin story will have to be exceptional to compete with a story about another former NFL player that was carried Sunday on CBS’ “60 Minutes.”
Tim Green, who starred at Syracuse before playing for the Atlanta Falcons for eight years, revealed that he is battling ALS – more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease – in an interview with Steve Kroft.
A lawyer and an author, Green spoke haltingly during the interview as the disease has clearly taken its toll. He doesn’t feel sorry for himself and doesn’t want sympathy from other people.
But Green’s positive attitude dealing with the devastating illness with the help of his wife and children moved me to tears and I doubt I was alone.
A Kroft interview with Green from about 22 years ago augmented the piece. It included Green’s speculation that playing in the NFL could end his life 10 or 20 years earlier than if he hadn’t played the game he loved.
Green said he doesn’t regret playing. “It was as magical and as wonderful as I dreamed it would be,” he said.
In one of the two most incredible and moving moments of the interview, he concluded this is the best time in his life.
Another moving moment comes at the end. When people say God bless you, Green responds: “He already has.”