Not every college football fan got tickets to the BCS championship game this Christmas.
But that doesn't mean that there was an absence of joy elsewhere.
Sometimes, the simplest gifts mean the most. Reddit user tylerc161 posted this Christmas story titled "Collin Klein: Thanks dude; for giving my little bro the best Christmas ever" on the college football sub-Reddit of his own after his younger brother, 10-year-old Seth Ferrin of Lenexa, Kan., got a football autographed by Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein.
No big deal? Tell that to young Seth or his family.
"You gave my little brother the best Christmas he's had, and more importantly, you've given him hope," tylerc161 wrote. "My dad has been out of a job for quite some time, and to pick up the slack my mom has been working three retail jobs. Since my mom was extremely worried she wouldn't be able to provide good gifts for this Christmas.”
tylerc161 told Playbook via Reddit message that Seth hopes to follow in Klein’s footsteps, eventually playing for the Wildcats.
“My brother aspires to be like Collin in almost every way,” tylerc161 said. Seth currently plays right tackle, guard and kicker for a local county club team.
The son of a family friend, who attends Kansas State, helped deliver word to Klein requesting his autograph on a football for Seth.
"Through the greatness of man, these dudes were able to achieve this. Not only that, but apparently this ball was inside a parked car that was hit by a drunk driver. While the car was totaled, this ball somehow survived. It's an amazing Christmas gift, and my brother … thought it came from a store, and as soon as my mom said ‘no’ and explained he shed his tears of glory," tylerc161 wrote on Reddit.
He also posted a photo Seth with the ball. "There's no pictures of him after since he was embarrassed and turned his back around to hide his tears."
The response was overwhelmingly positive and other Reddit users posted their own stories of acts of generosity they've seen from college football players. “If there's one thing that I could say to Collin, it would simply be: ‘Thank you for giving my little brother the best Christmas he's ever had, and giving him hope that he can be like you [Collin] someday,”’ tylerc161 told Playbook. “Thanks for not forgetting about the small things in life that can bring unprecedented amounts of joy to little boys for Christmas.”
Nick Sherrod, 24 of Birmingham has been an Alabama his entire life and had a pretty cool Christmas in his own right, even without tickets to see the Crimson Tide play Notre Dame in Miami on Jan. 7. While Sherrod’s parents, who are Alabama season-ticket holders, got shut in their bid for BCS title game tickets, he got a pretty decent consolation prize:
“Alabama fans will follow their team anywhere they go and when they get into games like this I just cross my fingers I get lucky and end up with a ticket,” he wrote after letmeholdadolla posting his tale on Reddit. “After not getting a ticket [through the season-holder lottery] my parents both searched for tickets so that my Dad and I could go, but I told them that $2000 was too much for them to spend on one ticket.”
But this wasn’t a bad consolation prize and Sherrod is eager for his visit to College Station, Texas. “‘The Home of the 12th Man’ does it really stand up to it?’ I have yet to be overwhelmed after being to Bryant Denny tons of times with 100,000-plus fans screaming at the top of their lungs.”
Sherrod watched the viral video of Alabama fan Don Buckhannan getting BCS title game tickets from his son Daniel, before his family opened their Christmas gifts.
“I imagine the look on my face to everyone else was just as good as seeing the father in that video," he said, "because the excitement that overwhelmed me about knowing next year I'll be sitting in Kyle Field.”