I was on my way to the Colts complex a few weeks ago and got a notification on my phone that a player had been released from the team. It was a guy I knew and enjoyed talking to. He had a fiancée and a new baby. My heart sank for him – for all of them.
I pulled into the parking lot a little early for the event and there he was, walking out of the building holding a box. It was a side of the business I had never seen and never really wanted to see. And yet, there it was – unfolding right in front of me.
He put the box in his trunk, said his goodbyes, got in his car and drove off.
I sat there numb, staring out the window at nothing in particular, trying to imagine how he felt pulling out of the Colts facility for the last time.
It’s the nature of the business. Football is a tough game. And the business side is even tougher. You may get used to it, but it never gets easier.
This week on Tuesday afternoon, I was on my way to another event when I got a notification that linebacker Sio Moore had been released. After going through the usual emotions, I assumed another player would take his place at the dinner he was scheduled to attend that evening for survivors of breast cancer.
But little did I know how little I knew Sio Moore.
I knew he was a great fit for the event. Raised by his mother, his grandmother, and his sister, Moore is a champion of women. Still, when I heard he was coming regardless, that he got special permission from the Colts to attend, I was stunned.
The ladies were gathered in the owner’s box at the Colts Grille. They were chatting and munching on appetizers when Moore entered the room. He was a little overwhelmed and you could tell his mind was racing. He composed himself and told them what had transpired. He wasn’t sure where he was going or what he was going to do. But at that moment, he was right where he wanted to be – with them.
He circled the room giving out hugs, words of encouragement, and gifts he brought them – beautiful blankets with matching bags and jewelry, each one of them unique and handmade by his mother.
And when he was done, he took a step back and breathed a sigh of relief. With a moment to exhale among friendly faces, his guard came down and reality began to creep in.
“Mama told me not to cry,” he said, as the tears welled up in his eyes.
The women embraced him in a group hug.
He showed up to support them. But he was also in need of support. And in the absence of his mother and sister, he found himself surrounded by strong women once again.
It served as a valuable reminder – that you don’t need to be at your strongest to lend strength to someone in need.
Colts players come and go and they all leave their mark in some way.
In a quiet act of selflessness, while facing his own fear and uncertainty, Sio Moore left a legacy in Indianapolis.
He showed us his heart.
And we’ll never forget it.