There are a couple of different ways to look at this one.
One could say that a simple act of kindness set lucky Tre Boston down a new path, and to the other side of the country and a bright future.
Or one could say that gas fumes may have turned poor Tre Boston into Jimmy Haslam, soliciting future-altering football advice from a homeless guy.
I guess it sort of depends on what kind of person you are.
Here’s the story on the safety’s decision to sign with the Chargers rather than the Bills or the Steelers, via Eric Williams of ESPN.com. It begins with Boston pondering his future after being cut by the Panthers, and stopping to top off his tank at a Charlotte gas station when he met a man who would change his life.
“I crossed two lanes to get to the gas station,” Boston said. “I pump my gas. After I pump my gas, I put my wallet in my car. After I put my wallet in my car, there’s a guy with three kids and he asked me for a little bit of change, or if I had a dollar or two. I gave him a $20.
“So he tells me thank you so much, and that God put me in his life for a reason. And in my mind I’m saying you’re here for a reason, too. So in my mind I’m saying should I ask him, ‘L.A. or Buffalo.’ And before I could ask him, my man told me, ‘Thank you so much. There aren’t too many people like you in this world, God’s children. My name’s Mike Daniels, but people call me L.A.‘”
Boston was moved to tears, interpreted the man’s name as a sign from above, looked back at the gas station and saw a card that said “Jesus Saves,” and ended up talking to him for a half-hour and giving him four more $20s.
“I ended up giving him $100 because I knew he changed my life, just like I knew I changed his life,” Boston said. “Honestly, that’s the reason why I’m here. It didn’t matter how much money was given to me. It didn’t matter really who was on the team, it just happened to be a great fit.
“God told me to come here, and that’s my testimony. And that’s why I’m here.”
That story’s enough of a reason to root for Boston, who did what more people should do — he stopped and listened and shared his good fortune.
But he’s really, really lucky the guy’s name wasn’t Mike Manziel.