View Full Version : Blind Ohio football player reaches end zone, inspires commun

10-16-2009, 04:06 PM
Tyler Brown is legally blind, but he never again will be anonymous.

The 6-foot-2, 205-pound junior team manager has played in two varsity football games this fall for McComb, Ohio and both times the opposing teams had no clue that he was blind.

However, on the first weekend of October, he scored a touchdown and the publicity that now is forthcoming will ensure that uniform No. 2 immediately will be spotted whenever he enters the McComb lineup in the future.

It was a great, magnificent dream come true, Brown told MaxPreps. A lot of people who can see dont get to experience that.

Coach Kris Alge had been watching his manager since he started lifting weights with the football players as a sophomore and has seen him grow into a powerful young man who already can bench press 225 pounds.

Though the Panthers have a nice-sized 40-player roster, they are one of Ohios smallest schools with about 300 students in grades 9-12, so Alge always is looking for more manpower.

One day Alge told Brown, Hey, Tyler, we need to get you a physical and get you in a game.

The thought of seeing action beyond carrying a water bucket on the sidelines wasn't an ambition for Brown.

"Never even crossed my mind until this year when coach Alge said, I want to get you into a game,' " Brown said.

In the third game this fall against Van Buren Alge sent his eager manager in as a nose guard for the last two plays.

I had a guy sort of run him out on the field, Alge explained. He has to tilt his head sideways to see (his right eye is strongest and he does have some peripheral vision). The first time he hit the center and ran into the referee. The second time he hit the center and drove him back. The crowd was going nuts. Their crowd wondered what was going on because we already had won.

The next day he saw action in about 10 plays during the JV game against Van Buren. He again played nose guard, but also was used very briefly on the kick-off team.

He got lit up pretty good, Alge acknowledged. He said, Man, I got blind-sided (no pun intended).' "

Brown conceded he was nervous as he entered his first game. However, much bigger things loomed ahead because Alge then told him, We want to get you a touchdown.

With the Panthers up 7-0 in the first quarter against Vanlue, Alge sent Brown in at fullback with the ball resting on the Vanlue 1-yard line.

I got stuffed at the line of scrimmage, Brown lamented. On second-and-goal, I had a wide-open hole, but I dropped it and they recovered.

Miraculously, he was given a chance to redeem himself with a 40-7 lead in the fourth quarter when teammate Dyllon Mears was dropped on the 1-yard line following a 57-yard scamper with a screen pass.

Alge replaced his substitutes with his varsity line and inserted Brown at quarterback, a position he had worked at during halftime.

Two of our seniors (Clay Lilly and Corey Fry) kind of wrapped me up and gave me a nice push (into the end zone), Brown colorfully described his historic touchdown. It was kind of like the Reggie Bush push for a touchdown during a Notre Dame-Southern Cal game.

Coach Alge called it a great moment and one well never forget.

All I could do was cry," Tyler's mother, Bonnie Brown, said. "When the team picked him up and the fans started screaming, I just got chills. It was amazing. I never in a million years (thought he would get into a game) because I know what kind of vision Tyler has. When its dark he has no vision.

Hes really blessed with good friends that hes hung out with since grade school. Hes never let his disability slow him down. He wants to be just like everybody else.

With no real push from his family, Tyler points out that hes been a huge sports fan his entire life.

That love has enabled him to meet LeBron James when he played high school basketball and Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who was raised in nearby Findlay.

As a sixth grader he wrote a biography of Roethlisberger and then brought him to school to meet his classmates. The NFL star even stops by occasionally at Tonys Restaurant, located in Findlay and owned by the Brown family. Tyler, an A-B student, hopes to major in business in college and some day run the family restaurant.

One of the house specialties is the famous Big Ben Burger.

It sells really well. During football season, it really picks up," Bonnie Brown said.

Tyler is expected to revert to his manager role this weekend, but next week against Arcadia he plans to again suit up for action.

But this time, could he be a marked man?

The way the stories are coming out, I would assume, yeah, he conceded.

By the way, he also manages basketball and given his athleticism, Alge also believes he could do big things on the hardwood with better vision.

I was talking to the basketball coach today and he said, 'Hey, weve got to get you in,' " Brown said.

http://www.maxpreps.com/news/Xn20KLqFEd ... munity.htm (http://www.maxpreps.com/news/Xn20KLqFEd6OEwAcxJTdpg/blind-ohio-football-player-reaches-end-zone,-inspires-community.htm)

10-17-2009, 08:35 AM
He can probably catch better than Sweed

stlrz d
10-17-2009, 10:40 AM
Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn every now and then.

What, too soon? :D :D :D

10-17-2009, 07:58 PM
I have a friend that's legally blind.

We go shooting on his land quite often.