INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — All-Pro linebacker Darius Leonard was feeling good after leading the team with six tackles in the Indianapolis Colts first home win of the season.
“It’s just a thankful feeling, especially coming off the field, and you can touch a kid, you know, that that memory is going to last them a whole lifetime,” Leonard said as he reflected on his postgame routine of interacting with fans at Lucas Oil Stadium. “You know, we didn’t have many fans in this thing. And I just saw the two little boys there had my jersey on. I said, he’s the perfect one to throw my gloves to.”
But Leonard’s game-worn gift may have been a little too generous, even for one of the Maniac’s biggest fans.
“I mean, as soon as like, as soon as I got a shower, I was putting my clothes on. That’s when I immediately knew what happened. I said, ‘Oh no, I just gave my wedding band to a fan,'” Leonard added, “So I immediately just told my wife, Hey, don’t freak out when you don’t see me, don’t have a ring on my finger. I was like, ‘No, honestly, it was in my gloves that I gave away to the kids.’ So, we just laughed about it.”
That’s when the giant game of lost and found began. The young Colts fan, named Noah, immediately alerted his family to the golden surprise he found hiding in his new swag. His uncle tweeted about the unexpected find and, thanks to Colts nation, Darius wasn’t in the dog house for very long.
Leonard said, “Luckily, you know, I saw it on Twitter and I was like, ‘Hey, can I get it back, please?'”
So, within a few hours, the ring was en route back to the Leonards, but the sweet story of honesty became an overnight sensation appearing on “SportsCenter” and beyond.
The young Samaritan was shocked by all of the national attention he’s getting for simply doing the right thing, so he declined to comment on his new-found fame. However, Darius did have a message he wanted to pass along to his unlikely hero.
“First of all, they say, thank you. You know, always say, you know, treat others that you want to be treated in four, four, and to come up and say that, ‘Hey, my wedding band was in that glove.’ You know, that just shows a respect to his parents. You know, his parents were raising him to be the right way. And you know, I’m very blessed and honored for his parents to raise them that way. I mean, he’s a, he’s a great kid. Um, just, just be looking in your mailbox, something just for your honesty and giving that thing that means so much to be back now. … And just let you know that, you know, some good, you can come up with being, being great.”
A life lesson from the Maniac, and it sure has a nice ring to it!