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lilyoder6
06-27-2008, 08:36 PM
The Steelers make a wish come true with a "rookie signing"
By Teresa Varley
Steelers.com

Feature to appear on ESPN's SportsCenter on Sunday, June 29 on the morning SportsCenter which starts at 10:30 am Eastern Time.

PHOTO ALBUM



Originally printed in May




A few weeks ago the Steelers held a press conference to introduce number one draft pick Rashard Mendenhall.





On Thursday another member of the 2008 rookie class was introduced when director of football operations Kevin Colbert welcomed Akeem Havens to the team.





“We got word last week that the National Football League was going to grant us a special addition to our 2008 draft class,” said Colbert. “We had to do some quick work. When researching players for the Pittsburgh Steelers we are always looking for players with high character, a great work ethic and an unmatched willingness to win. Through all of our research we came up with a great young man, Akeem Havens, the latest addition to our draft class.”



A smiling Havens was then presented with his official jersey by Dan Rooney, Sr., bearing the number one and his name on the back.





It was the perfect moment for a kid who deserves nothing less.





Havens “signing” was part of a two-day visit to the Steelers made possible by the Make-A-Wish Foundation that is being filmed to air on ESPN as part of their “My Wish” series the week of June 29.





He spent Wednesday on a tour of Heinz Field that included seeing the press box, scoreboard room, locker room and taking the field through the same tunnel as his new “teammates.”





On Thursday he received a morning tour of the team’s practice facility at the UPMC Sports Performance Complex and then it was time to meet the media.





Like any other player, Havens had to face the questions from reporters, including what advice he would give to his new teammates.



“I have one piece of advice – let’s try to make it an even number of Super Bowl wins,” said Havens, hoping that the Steelers will get number six this year.





After a few more questions quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who is Havens’ favorite player, burst into the media room.





“What’s going on in here?” Roethlisberger asked Havens. “We don’t have time for this. We have practice. What are you doing? Do you want to go to practice? We don’t have time for all of this media stuff.”



And with that, a beaming Havens was off to practice, where he was introduced to the entire team prior to the start of the team’s OTAs.





Havens, who was paralyzed from a car accident when he was seven, opened practice from taking a handoff from Roethlisberger but the best moment came at the end of the practice when he took another handoff and this time worked his way around the Steelers defense to score his first NFL touchdown. Roethlisberger presented him with the ball after the score and then he brought the team together for Havens to end practice.





“It puts things into perspective,” said Roethlisberger of the experience. “It’s great to be able to come out here and see someone like him with such energy and life. The smile that is on his face is so amazing. To think that his one wish was to come out and hang out with us is touching. So many days we come out here and don’t want to be here and he wants to be here. It’s awesome to help him out and put a smile on his face.”





After practice Havens, along with his parents and younger brother James, had lunch and then it was off for film work, or in this case video games against Roethlisberger.





“His wish was to hang out with us so this was a no-brainer,” said Roethlisberger. “I was excited to have him here. The rest of the guys were too. I think he had a great time to. It was as fun for him as it was for us.”






* * *



The Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Greater Pennsylvania and Southern West Virginia is a non-profit organization, which grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. It was founded in 1983 and serves 57 counties in western, central and northeastern Pennsylvania and 23 counties in southern West Virginia with headquarters in Pittsburgh and regional offices in Erie, Punxsutawney, Pottsville, Wilkes-Barre and York, Pa., and Charleston, W.Va. In fiscal year 2007, the Foundation fulfilled 707 wishes with the help of nearly 900 volunteers. 84.4% of all donations fund wish granting activity. Currently, the Foundation is the most active chapter in the country and has fulfilled more than 9,500 wishes. For more information on how to refer children or to volunteer, please call the Make-A-Wish Foundation at 1-800-676-9474 or visit its Web site at www.wishgreaterpa.org.

Preacher
06-27-2008, 10:39 PM
I saw that one before.

Posted it at a Browns site... in a thread about Quinn doing some of that kind of stuff as well.

I was impressed with how they handled it.

SteelCityMan786
06-27-2008, 11:21 PM
Working in a world class manor,

Great Description of the Pittsburgh Steelers :thumbsup:

stillers4me
06-28-2008, 07:14 AM
I saw that one before.

Posted it at a Browns site... in a thread about Quinn doing some of that kind of stuff as well.

I was impressed with how they handled it.

That still just boggled my brain.

Brady Quinn has done...........what? Cried like a baby during the draft and has been carrying around a clipboard ever since. Yet he gets endorsements and appearances........... what a joke. :noidea:

lilyoder6
06-28-2008, 12:12 PM
quinn is a work-out god... lol

i liked watching the series last yr on sportcenter.. and seems to this season will be good as well

GBMelBlount
06-28-2008, 12:33 PM
Great story lilyoder. thanks.

lilyoder6
06-28-2008, 09:50 PM
uw.. i thought i would share w/ all u kind folks

fansince'76
06-28-2008, 10:03 PM
Brady Quinn has done...........what? Cried like a baby during the draft and has been carrying around a clipboard ever since.

Not to mention verbally bashing homosexuals in a drunken stupor outside a gay bar. :alcoholic
Which is kind of ironic given his propensity for fondling other dudes' crotches, and his willingness to be the subject of photos like the one below.

http://blog.oregonlive.com/beavers/2008/02/large_brady-quinn-4.jpg.

:sissies: :chuckle:

Preacher
06-28-2008, 11:31 PM
Not to mention verbally bashing homosexuals in a drunken stupor outside a gay bar. :alcoholic
Which is kind of ironic given his propensity for fondling other dudes' crotches, and his willingness to be the subject of photos like the one below.

http://blog.oregonlive.com/beavers/2008/02/large_brady-quinn-4.jpg.

:sissies: :chuckle:


Well...

you know what they say about homophobia....

SteelersMongol
06-29-2008, 12:07 AM
Not to mention verbally bashing homosexuals in a drunken stupor outside a gay bar. :alcoholic
Which is kind of ironic given his propensity for fondling other dudes' crotches, and his willingness to be the subject of photos like the one below.

http://blog.oregonlive.com/beavers/2008/02/large_brady-quinn-4.jpg.

:sissies: :chuckle:

What's with this guy and penis grabbing habits of his? First, when I saw his picture with two other guys I was like "Kids." But now this? :popcorn: Did he ever go to Neverland spent a night with MJ when he was little younger?

Galax Steeler
06-29-2008, 07:02 AM
What's with this guy and penis grabbing habits of his? First, when I saw his picture with two other guys I was like "Kids." But now this? :popcorn: Did he ever go to Neverland spent a night with MJ when he was little younger?

I think he spent more then one night there.

lilyoder6
06-29-2008, 11:58 AM
lol.. he must of been mj's right hand man

HometownGal
06-29-2008, 02:41 PM
Not to mention verbally bashing homosexuals in a drunken stupor outside a gay bar. :alcoholic
Which is kind of ironic given his propensity for fondling other dudes' crotches, and his willingness to be the subject of photos like the one below.

http://blog.oregonlive.com/beavers/2008/02/large_brady-quinn-4.jpg.

:sissies: :chuckle:

Brady got the ghey. :sissies:

lamberts-lost-tooth
06-29-2008, 04:37 PM
Not to mention verbally bashing homosexuals in a drunken stupor outside a gay bar. :alcoholic
Which is kind of ironic given his propensity for fondling other dudes' crotches, and his willingness to be the subject of photos like the one below.

http://blog.oregonlive.com/beavers/2008/02/large_brady-quinn-4.jpg.

:sissies: :chuckle:

What is sad is that he was the 2nd man in a Village People cover band...and they were singing YMCA when the picture was taken.

(What is really sad is that.... that is supposed to be a "M"...:pity:....very sad)

SteelersTilIDie
06-29-2008, 06:43 PM
I love the fact that major sports leagues have teamed up with the make a wish foundation to make sports dreams come true for unfortunate children. I am equally glad that Big Ben and the Steelers participated in this partnership by welcoming and having a practice with 14 year old Akeem Havens, who was paralyzed at seven years old and had the dream of playing Big Ben in video games, and that dream became a reality.


http://sports.espn.go.com/broadband/video/videopage?videoId=3462278&categoryId=2378529

CantStop85
06-29-2008, 06:52 PM
It was great to see Ben and the Steelers organization participate in the Make a Wish Foundation. They always do some truly great things. I love watching the My Wish segments on SportsCenter.

It's as impressive as when the Steelers "signed" Carnegie Mellon professor Randy Pausch for a day. That made me gain a lot of respect for the organization.

Atlanta Dan
06-29-2008, 07:00 PM
It was great to see Ben and the Steelers organization participate in the Make a Wish Foundation. They always do some truly great things. I love watching the My Wish segments on SportsCenter.

It's as impressive as when the Steelers "signed" Carnegie Mellon professor Randy Pausch for a day. That made me gain a lot of respect for the organization.

It's been a class organization with the Rooneys for a while; what I am glad to see is Ben starting to perform off the field in a manner commensurate with his position and salary.
:thumbsup:

lilyoder6
06-29-2008, 09:38 PM
i wonder when they get to show the shaq make a wish part if shaq did a lil rapping 4 the kid..

SteelCityMan786
06-29-2008, 09:40 PM
i wonder when they get to show the shaq make a wish part if shaq did a lil rapping 4 the kid..

Better be more language appropriate then what he did on Kobe. :laughing::laughing::laughing:

klick81
06-29-2008, 10:39 PM
I just saw this on ESPN today..defenitely touching, and it made it extra special to see that it was the Steelers who made this young man's wish come true.

Aussie_steeler
06-30-2008, 06:28 AM
I caught the story too and I thought it was very well done.

This is one area of ESPN that I truly look forward to and respect. (and there arent many of them)

The make-a-wish segments always make me cry a little.

The inspirational stories also get me in a big way. My favourite story was the Albert Pujols story about his new wife and her first child who had down syndrome and what role he plays in the community now. ( a very close topic to my heart due to my first born daughter)

RoethlisBURGHer
06-30-2008, 08:23 PM
I saw it on SC last night, and I must admit the kid's story made me tear up.

After watching that, I was even more proud to be a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

trish
07-01-2008, 06:47 PM
The Steelers did a great job with that My Wish segment. I love all the My Wish episodes but this one really was awesome.

Classy organization.

KeiselPower99
07-02-2008, 12:24 PM
Top story and just awesome for the team to do stuff like this.

TackleMeBen
07-02-2008, 12:29 PM
i had a friend of mine call me and ask me if i seen it and said no i missed it. he said you need to watch it.. as much as he hates the steelers he was like that was a very nice thing they did for that child, and he almost cried.

Dino 6 Rings
07-02-2008, 12:34 PM
imagine, you're sick, and you can have anything you want in the world, and you choose to go visit your favorite football team.

that has got to be very humbling for those players.

I love this story, it makes me feel thankful for everything I have in life.