Griff, the die-hard Todd Gurley fan who became an overnight sensation when he got surprised with tickets to see the Rams play, is one of the best stories of the week.
The video, uploaded by Griff’s aunt, caught the attention of football fans, the Rams themselves, and even Gurley, who appreciated Griff’s enthusiasm. It’s so great to see kids this excited about seeing sports, and reminds us how much we take seeing a game in person for granted.
Griff’s excitement was ultimately good luck for the Rams and Gurley, and they won in Jacksonville and the star running back rushed for over 100 yards.
Tara Sumner, Griff’s mom, has seen her son go viral overnight.
“We are completely blown away by the amount of attention this video has received,” she told SB Nation.com. The footage shot in the car has been posted by the Los Angeles Times, the Telegraph, and the NY Daily News. Everyone is appreciating not only the emotion Griff showed, but the ruse pulled by everyone involved.
To sell it, they needed a good backstory for why they’d be traveling from their home in Statesboro, Georgia to Jacksonville on a Sunday — and came up with one so mundane a kid would be forgiven for being unenthusiastic.
“My father-in-law and his brother own several convenience stores in and around Bulloch County. [...] We told Griff earlier in the week we were heading to Jacksonville to a Food Expo to look at new product for our stores.”
This is what made it so great when Griff got handed the ticket. Minutes away from the stadium, he was sure he was going to a food expo. The boy had no idea the Rams were in town.
“It was very hard to keep this secret for the past month and there were a couple of times we almost blew it!”
Griff has loved Gurley ever since he played at Georgia. Most of the family are die-hard UGA fans, except his mom — who loves Auburn, making football season interesting in the house. Regardless of allegiance, they all support the Rams’ running back.
“He was always a really fun player to watch at UGA,” Sumner said, “That has continued with his performance in the NFL.”
The video gained the attention of Gurley, who tweeted about it following the Rams’ win.
The family noticed, and showed the tweet to Griff.
“When Griff woke up this morning I did show him the shout out from Todd Gurley and he was all smiles, still saying he couldn't believe he actually got to see him and the Rams play.”
The Rams reached out to the family to see if they were still in Jacksonville, but no arrangements have been made for a meetup yet. Whether or not that happens, it was still an incredible moment for the family, and a young boy whose dream came true.
“This was Griff's first NFL game, and mine too! He had the time of his life!”
This is what sports are all about.