Spiller wins over Pats fan

Spiller wins over Pats fan

A nine-year old NFL fanatic in Kitchener rode to school in a limousine with running back C.J. Spiller

As The Record’s Josh Brown reported, the NFL’s Take a Player to School event in Kitchener got off to an interesting start when the student, fourth-grader Ronan Freeborn, answered his door dressed head-to-toe in New England Patriots gear. His father wore a bright orange Cincinnati Bengals jersey.

“It was definitely surprising, but I didn’t let that distract me,” Spiller told the Record. “They stick with their teams. I have nothing but respect for that.”

Freeborn won the visit, complete with ‘Play 60’ equipment and a $5,000 Samsung Hope for Children technology grant for his school, by entering NFL Canada’s national online sweepstakes.

After a tour of Freeborn’s home (complete with Patriots bed spreads), Spiller then visited the winner’s classroom, answered questions at a school-wide assembly, and led some students in NFL Play 60 fitness drills. Play 60 was designed by the NFL to instil lifelong habits of physical activity. Students are left with the goal of being active for 60 minutes each day, and with the motivation, equipment and practical ideas necessary to achieve this goal.

“It’s about giving back and putting smiles on the kids’ faces and letting them share in an experience that will hopefully last a lifetime,” Spiller told the Record. “I’ll know I’ll remember it.”

According to The Record it was just such a meeting several years ago that inspired Spiller to follow his own football dreams. When he was ten he met his hero, Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Warrick Dunn, who also wore number 28.

“It left a lasting impression,” Spiller told the Record. “From that day forward, he turned into my favourite player.”

As for lasting impressions, Spiller not only endeared himself to an entire school, but even won over New England fanatic Freeborn.

“Unless he starts beating the Patriots,” Freeborn told the Record.

Complete Record coverage:


CTV Kitchener’s take on the visit, and Ronan Freeborn in his Tom Brady jersey: