MassLive - Jarrett Stidham doesn’t yet have a face everyone recognizes. And since he was wearing a protective mask, even most hardcore Patriots fans wouldn’t recognize him from just the eyes up.
So many people that arrived at the North Attleboro Community School site Friday where the Hockomock YMCA was giving out Chik-Fil-A meals donated by Jarrett and his wife Kennedy Stidham to kids and families, who were struggling economically during the coronavirus pandemic, didn’t realize they’d just received their chicken from the presumptive starting quarterback of the Patriots.
When one woman grabbed a camera to excitedly take a picture, Hockomock YMCA president Ed Hurley assumed she was a huge Patriots fan.
“She was so excited. I was like ‘wow she recognized him right away,’” Hurley said.
But it was Chik-Fil-A’s signature mascot that was also at the event that had her starstruck. ...
Hurley said the anonymity suited the quarterback just fine. Stidham and his wife Kennedy had reached out seeking an opportunity to help not attention. Nobody called TV cameras.
“He wanted to do something to help kids specifically during this pandemic. When he heard about some of the things we were doing we came up with the idea of providing a meal for them,” Hurley said. “The thing that impressed me was that this was something he wanted to do quietly. There was no advance release to the media about it. He just wanted to be there with his wife and just do something to help kids. That’s what he did today.”
If it seems to you like I'm trying to make Jarrett Stidham happen like he's "fetch," you're not wrong. I'll admit I'm doing a lot of projecting here. i'm made no secret of the large, Tom Brady-shaped hole in my heart that I need to fill. Not that it's hard in Stidham's case. Like I've said repeatedly, he comes with a resume. He was on a first round trajectory when he was at Baylor before everything went sideways with the program through no fault of his own so he did the right thing and bounced. Auburn, with a run-option heavy offense was uniquely bad fit for a pro-style QB like him so he regressed. And still put up 56 points in the first half of his final bowl game. So there is a lot to be optimistic about.
And also, to be realistic about. Charity work, while a pure good, isn't going to help him if he's throwing ducks.
... otherwise Tim Tebow would be making $35 million right now.
So while he and Mrs. Stidham handing out a thousand lunches to kids who aren't getting them at school isn't everything, it's far from nothing, either. It's a sign that after one season on the bench, this guy gets it. That he's making the effort to be part of the fabric of life in New England. And that we gravitate to athletes who are winners, on and off the field.
I remember hearing once that Nomar Garciaparra told a new teammate that Boston isn't a tough city to figure out. Just play hard, appreciate the fans and act like you enjoy playing baseball. Or words to that effect. And that is pretty much it. Don't be a dick. Don't be a weirdo. Play hard. Be clutch. And we'll back you even if the whole rest of the world despises you. Especially the whole rest of the world despises you.
So while these good works are not going to do him a damned bit of good when the bullets fly and he's sensing pressure or identifying a disguised coverage, for now it's a very good start.
P.S. We'll know for sure Stidham has made if John Henry's Boston Globe starts investigating whether he's stealing money from the Hockomock Y for his other charities.