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Brownsburg welding company turns NFL star’s leg brace into trophy

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (WISH) — A Brownsburg welding company turned a symbol of adversity into triumph for an NFL star. Cold Hard Art transformed a leg brace into a sentimental gift for Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith.

Smith has been healing from a devastating leg injury since 2018. His wife contacted Cold Hard Art to reconstruct the brace into a Vince Lombardi trophy. Tom Patsis is a metal artist and owns Cold Hard Art. He’s well known in the motorsports industry for welding trophies and replicas of race cars.

“I try to create moments so people giving them to their grandpa they go ‘here you go, grandpa, here’s a replica of your car that you use to race.’ I mean that’s kind of powerful, you can’t buy that in the store. It’s a really fun job that I have.”

However, Patsis said he hasn’t recreated anything football related and he doesn’t even know much about the sport. Smith’s wife contacted Patsis on Instagram to see if he could reconstruct a metal leg brace into a memorable Christmas gift.

“At this point in my mind, I have no concept of who she is, who her husband is. I said ‘Oh OK mail it to me and when it comes in, we’ll think about it,’” said the metal artist.
Brainstorming came into play once the brace made it to the Cold Hard Art Shop.

“She wanted me to make a phoenix-like a bird coming out from the ashes kind of like a fresh start with the idea of building a bird out of just a couple parts. It’s not a lot to that brace so I didn’t want to add outside material and so a day later I drew up something and it only made sense that the man can walk again, he’s playing football again. His only goal is to win the Superbowl so the Vince Lombardi trophy is it. It’s got to be the Super Bowl trophy,” Patsis said.

The artist said the trophy took six to seven hours to make.

Smith’s wife shared her gratitude online on Sunday just before her quarterback husband took the field saying, “No matter the outcome, Alex has already won. He has beat the largest challenge life has thrown our way. Special thanks to Cold Hard Art for transforming a symbol of hard times to a trophy of triumph we can proudly put on our shelves.”

“It’s cool to see someone with drive and to make your body heal like that I’ve seen some photos that’s a pretty good comeback story there,” Patsis mentioned.

The metal artist said Alex Smith very much loved the gift and didn’t charge the family anything.

Patsis asked for two autographed jersey’s for his wife and daughter instead.