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Michael Bennett is wearing a white cowboy hat to honor his late friend

Michael Bennett is one of the most entertaining players in the NFL, but it turns out the Seahawks' defensive end has a deeper side than thrusting after sacks and borrowing police bikes. During the lead up to the Super Bowl he's been sporting a large white cowboy hat, a piece of apparel that has a message far deeper than fashion.

The hat belonged to Mark Alexander, a friend of Bennett's who died of cancer in 2014. He was given it by Alexander's widow, and has chosen to wear it all week in the lead up to the Super Bowl to honor his friend and bring him good luck.

"He was like a guy who was a mentor to a lot of kinds around my neighborhood," Bennett said. "When he died, he had more than 500 people show up at his house. Even the funeral last week, there were so many kids that had grown up and done so many different things."

Alexander was a pillar of the community and touched so many lives, but like far too many unsung heroes he didn't get the recognition he deserved. By wearing his hat Bennett has shined a light on a life that lifted up so many others, and got to tell his story.

"I think the most special thing about his funeral is when his mom talked and she just said, ‘He always said he worked with kids, but I didn't believe that he really worked with kids like that.' And to have so many kids come back. Kids were lawyers. Kids were bankers, teachers, coaches. To see all those guys come back and just be happy for him and his family and just to see all the people bring his family up was pretty cool.

Thank you Michael Bennett for letting us know all about the life and work of Mark Alexander, a true hero in a week where all the attention is on the athletes.