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Giants get pre-game boost from Make-A-Wish kid


Coming off two less-than-stellar performances in losses to the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals, the New York Giants probably didn’t need too much extra motivation to get prepared for a prime-time match up against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night.

But if they did, a Make-A-Wish kid from Vermont gave them an extra spark to go to battle with against the Packers.

Adam Merchant, a 15-year old still recovering from a prolonged battle with non-Hodgkin’s Burkitt’s lymphoma, watched from the sidelines as the Giants practiced on Friday. Afterward, he suddenly found himself in the middle of a team huddle when coach Tom Coughlin asked him to say a few words to the team.

“Play like world champions,” Merchant said, via Bob Glauber of Newsday. “Just play like world champions.”

The Giants took the message to heart and played one of their most complete games of the season against Green Bay. Outside of one defensive breakdown, the Giants were nearly flawless in the first half in cruising out to a 31-10 lead. Eli Manning threw for 249 yards and three touchdowns, the Giants’ defense sacked Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers five times and New York ended a two-game skid with a 38-10 victory over the Packers.

Afterward, the Giants were praising the message of Merchant.

“It’s tough not to be inspired by something like that,” defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka said. “He’s a kid dealing with something we have no idea about. We can’t put ourselves into his shoes. For him to want to spend his time with us and for him to give that fiery speech was heartfelt. Everybody wanted to match the intensity of it.”

Merchant is in remission following many rounds of chemotherapy. He’s also available any time the Giants want to bring him in for a speech.

“Any time,” he said. “I’ll go to the Super Bowl if they need me.”

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14 Responses to “Giants get pre-game boost from Make-A-Wish kid”
  1. thestrategyexpert says: Nov 27, 2012 1:30 AM

    Wow powerful words from Mr. Merchant.

    The coaches themselves wish they could summon the words and inspiration that could motivate the team to win like that, but if they could inspire the players from a place they don’t understand well then they would do that, well done sir and what a great contribution to a big team win!!!

    AWESOME work, this story gets me FIRED UP!

  2. thesportsguy52 says: Nov 27, 2012 1:44 AM

    Simply awesome. I get chills from these stories.

  3. bennyb82 says: Nov 27, 2012 1:49 AM

    More teams should do this. Coaches can only give so many fiery speeches before the effect wears off. Greg Williams may want to take note of this method…

  4. bleedburgandyandgold says: Nov 27, 2012 1:58 AM

    Being a die hard Skins fan I’m not find of the giants but this is a cool thing they did for the kid made me hate them a little less for a bit anyways

  5. victorycruz says: Nov 27, 2012 2:22 AM

    Awesome story!!! That would really make the kids day though to come in for the Super Bowl if the Giants make it there to give another speech, and enjoy a Super Bowl in however long he has left

  6. gogetembolts says: Nov 27, 2012 4:13 AM

    Play like world champions? That’s wishful thinking.

  7. gcsuk says: Nov 27, 2012 5:51 AM

    Kind of puts things in perspective when you read stories like this. Good luck to Adam. Hope he wins his fight.

  8. cooklynn17 says: Nov 27, 2012 6:02 AM

    what an Awesome kid, God Bless…

  9. oldguardof60s says: Nov 27, 2012 8:20 AM

    Make-A-Wish is an awesome organization.

  10. scrapingthefloorioforstorios says: Nov 27, 2012 8:20 AM

    so that’s all it takes? then every team should bring in a dying kid every week to inspire the team!

  11. hendawg21 says: Nov 27, 2012 8:21 AM

    I feel sorry for the kid, however, please give me a break…every year the Giants dig up someone suffering who comes in and gives them inspiration. When will it end same story different cast…so they put a whoopin on GB big deal who annointed GB as the be all/greatest in the NFL other than Mr. Discount Double Check there’s nothing on that team. So does this now make all well in GI ants world? are they destined for one of those runs??? I doubt it, it was at home, it was GB they should’ve won…

  12. patriotenvy says: Nov 27, 2012 10:50 AM

    He is from Vermont. Too bad he doesn’t support the home team.

  13. berniemadoffsides says: Nov 27, 2012 8:17 PM

    gogetembolts says:
    Nov 27, 2012 4:13 AM
    Play like world champions? That’s wishful thinking.


    Says a Chargers fan.

    The Giants just absolutely dominated one of the better teams in this league, similar to how they stomped the 49ers a few weeks back.

    If they keep playing like this, they are unbeatable.

  14. brian32556 says: Nov 27, 2012 9:49 PM

    “From the mouths of babes.”

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