Originally written on The Other Paper  |  Last updated 11/16/14

A nervous 15-year-old boy battling cancer sat in the New York Giants locker room after Friday's practice and suddenly became the biggest person in the room full of ... well ... Giants.  After the final practice before the Giants faced the Green Bay Packers, Adam Merchant had the huge task of offering a few encouraging words to his favorite team. Merchant, wearing a Jason Pierre-Paul jersey and Giants ski cap, was personally asked by head coach Tom Coughlin to address the Super Bowl champions after the NFL team had lost two consecutive games.  The nervous teenager's simple message: "Go out there," he told them, " and play like the world champions you are." The emotional words hit the team harder than a JPP quarterback sack and the Giants went on to rout the Packers, 38-10, Sunday night. With his Burkitt's Lymphoma in remission, Merchant was able to travel to East Rutherford from Barre, Vt., thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, after the Giants had fallen into their November swoon.   Being asked to speak to the players was a dream come true but the young man was understandably overwhelmed by the moment.  The Giants players understood. "It can be kind of nerve-racking to come talk to your favorite team," said Eli Manning — who seemed to return to his old self and even plowed into a defensive back instead of sliding on one play. That's a toughness Merchant can relate to.  He was diagnosed with Burkitt's Lymphoma — a rare and aggressive B-cell lymphoma that affects children — in March and has been undergoing chemotherapy treatment since. While the Giants took his message to heart, young Adam was awed by the reaction of the players after he was done talking — "They freaked out" — and could take pride in the knowledge that his words played a big part in the victory after he watched the game from the sidelines with his brother and father. "Certain people can say that," his new pal Justin Tuck said later.  "But when you see this innocent kid say you've got to play like a champion ... I told him he needs to get into motivational speaking because he inspired us." After the game, the experience got even better.  Merchant was invited into the locker room and was part of the celebratory team huddle. "He could have gone anywhere in the world (with his wish)," said Osi Umenyiora.  " But he chose to come here."

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
1 Comment:
  • God Bless young man, may you see many, many more Giants games for years to come.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

John Harbaugh: Bill Belichick is best coach of this century

Brandon Jennings suffers horrific Achilles injury

Van Gundy rips Bulls management about Thibs

Harbaugh lands first commitment at Michigan

NFL warns Seahawks about 'obscene gestures'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Lane Kiffin will remain with Alabama in 2015

Belichick: Patriots followed 'every rule' prepping footballs

Colts LB Andrew Jackson arrested on DUI charge

Sam Shields: Dez Bryant catch should have counted

Klay Thompson sets NBA record with 37 pts in a quarter

Hall of Famer Ernie Banks passes away

WATCH: Urban, OSU students send message to Mark May

The five best Super Bowl matchups ever

WATCH: Mike Riley gets big welcome at Nebraska game

Leonard Fournette's brother commits to LSU

Bledsoe not happy about other QBs trashing Brady

Red Sox P Joe Kelly predicts he will win Cy Young Award

WATCH: Bill Belichick drops 'My Cousin Vinny' reference

USC sends recruit personalized business cards

Coastal Carolina planning to install teal-colored field

The five most significant Super Bowls of all time

WATCH: J.R. Smith, LeBron half-court alley oop

Sesame Street makes "inflate" the word of the day

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Jennings suffers horrific injury

Harbaugh lands first commitment

Seahawks GM: I love Lynch's act

Lane Kiffin staying with Alabama

Belichick goes 'My Cousin Vinny'

Belichick: Patriots followed 'every rule'

Could Patriots have used a sauna?

Klay Thompson scores 37 pts in a quarter

Hall of Famer Ernie Banks passes away

Sesame Street makes "inflate" the word of the day

Which NBA player should get next on a signature shoe deal?

NFL's Deflategate statement doesn't say much

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.