Brandon Spikes didn’t live up the expectations one group of local teenagers had when they set out in hopes of meeting him. He far exceeded them.
Tim Hunt, Chris Newton, Blake Walker and Dylan DiNatale went to Shriners Auditorium on Sunday without sufficient funds for admission to the sports memorabilia show where Spikes was appearing for an autograph session.
A single tweet changed that.
Newton reached out to Spikes on Twitter and told the linebacker that he and his friends were in the parking lot unable to get in. Spikes responded to the St. John’s Prep student and told him he’d be arriving in a green Porsche, and to come find him.
“A few minutes later we saw the green Porsche coming down,” said DiNatale. “He came out and gave us handshakes. Then he pulled out a stack of $100 bills, gave us one and said he wanted to help. So we went in and got some autographs.”
News spread quickly about the gesture both inside the venue and on Twitter. The Wilmington teens were the buzz of the event.
Newton, a linebacker of the St. John’s football team, said he has always admired the way Spikes plays on the field. After Sunday, he’s a fan of how Spikes acts off the field as well.
“It was awesome because I always tweet at him, thinking he probably didn’t see it,” said Newton. “When we met him, he told me he remembered me. He’s a normal guy, which is weird because he’s such a great athlete and someone who I’ve always looked up to.”
The Boston Herald also reported on the day’s events in Monday’s edition. Several fans tweeted the article to Spikes, and he retweeted it several times and continued to express how grateful he is for his dedicated fans.
“I seen them at the end of the road. I said, ‘What you all doing?’ They said, ‘We can’t get in. We don’t have any money to get in,’” Spikes told The Herald. “I didn’t know they were charging. But it was cool. It was fun. I saw big smiles. They followed me up the street. I wanted to do something for them.”
Throughout the afternoon once inside Shriners, guests came up to the group of boys and asked them their meeting with Spikes.
“It was a lot more than I expected, that’s for sure,” said Newton, who said the next day at school he felt like the celebrity. “All of my friends were asking me about it.”
DiNatale said he’s enjoying his recent streak of good fortune. He won a last month and Sunday got the chance to meet a top level NFL player.
“It was great to see him take the time out of his day to talk to us,” said DiNatale. “I just want to thank him very much. He was a really nice guy.”