HOUSTON – Flag football’s championship game scored a team of amateurs $1 million in prize money. However, thanks to players on the field one of the best highlights happened in the stands.
In the shadow of the American Flag Football Championship played at BBVA Compass Stadium, royals owned the microphone, rolled through tailgates to cheers and saw former NBA greats shrink.
“These are the kind of moments you can’t put into words,” Major Jones, a former Houston Rocket said. “It makes you think how blessed you really are.”
Aaron Smith is 12. He has autism and wore a title woven into a satin sash draped around his neck. He and several others wearing crowns competed in We See Abilities, a charity for special needs children and adults, Mr. Wonderful pageant for boys and men. It is designed to make them feel good.
“A lot of people (don’t include) them in life when you should really include them because they’re really cool people,” Aaron said. “I get to meet them through this and it’s so much fun. You can see all of them having fun back here. Everyone’s having fun.”
Along with friends and family, 100 people in all scored tickets to the AFFL championship.
“I couldn’t think of any more deserving kids than my We See Abilities babies,” Gabrielle Piagiocti, said.
Her friend, Alan Ball, a former Dallas Cowboys player and member of one of the teams competing in Thursday’s game, donated seats hoping to make it a special experience. If you ask the Mr. Wonderful contestants, it worked.
“No matter if you have ADHD, ADD, doesn’t matter if you have cerebral palsy, doesn’t matter if you’re autistic you are always, always welcome,” Justin Wallingford, a contestant said.