On Feb. 4, the AFC champion New England Patriots lost Super Bowl LII to the Philadelphia Eagles, 41-33.
For Patriots defensive end Derek Rivers, it was not how he envisioned his experience at the Super Bowl to go. He had to watch on the sidelines because of a knee injury suffered during training camp in 2017.
But the next day, Feb. 5, Rivers made a different kind of memory.
According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, the day after the Super Bowl, Rivers covered a $66 Lyft ride for a homeless man.
Details of the story were provided to Reiss from Lyft driver Mary Vilorio.
“When I got there, he introduced me to a man and explained that he needed to get to Fall River, which was about an hour away. He was just very caring about it, and the two of them were talking about the Bible. I didn’t think anything of it, and then when I got in the car, the man started talking about how he was homeless, was struggling with alcohol, and that the person who had just helped him played for the Patriots. I said, ‘Really?’ Then I Googled the name ‘Derek Rivers,’ and it was the same person. I was like, ‘OMG!'”
“I learned how people who have a lot of money can be very humble,” Vilorio said, adding that the experience gave her a new perspective on her own situation, which has also been challenging. “You could see his devotion to God because he was talking about the Bible, and said, ‘God bless you.’”
Rivers, who declined to comment with ESPN for the story, was selected in the third-round of the 2017 NFL Draft by New England out of Youngstown State. He missed his entire rookie season after suffering a torn ACL during training camp, but according to ESPN, is recovering with the hopes of being 100 percent by the 2018 regular season.
On social media, Rivers’ Instagram page states: “Follower of Jesus Christ. We are saved by His grace!”
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