When he touchdowns, and often happens thanks to his extraordinary receiver qualities, he immediately runs towards the stands. There, still in the same place when the Texans play at home, sits a woman without a view. It is the mother of De Andre Hopkins, the formidable Houston player, a woman with a difficult and unfortunate life, bad choices, addictions, foolish men and finally a crazy quarrel with a young woman who threw acid on her eyes, making her blind.
De Andre runs towards her with the same harmonious speed with which he sows the opposing defenders. And he hands her the touchdown ball. She, as if she saw him perfectly, is already standing, her hands outstretched, a radiant smile on her face, to welcome her "child" and the gift of her talent.
It always happens. It also happened yesterday when the number 10 of the Texans received twice in the end zone for as many touchdowns. And the scene was shot by TV and photojournalist. The Hopkins double was decisive in the hosts' victory over the Indianapolis Colts rivals for 20-17. But for once the result has given way to a story far from competition and close to the heart.
Hopkins in the drawing by Lorenzo Ruggiero for Repubblica
At the age of five, De Andre was left fatherless. Not an example of virtue. Involved in drugs, he was free on bail when he had a fatal accident. His mother, since then, began to cultivate relationships with the wrong men: aggressive, violent, foolish. And with one of them he was about to lose his life. That casual companion had taken her car and when Mrs. Hopkins went to claim her, she found herself in front of another young woman out of her mind who, without giving her a chance, flooded her with a burning liquid. Greenlee thought he had lost his life. But after long treatment and an induced coma, he returned home with his face devastated and without sight. A tragedy in the tragedy of a poor family with no prospects.
Nobody thought about the gift that little DeAndre had from birth: a natural talent for football. That began to manifest itself right then. Small parties among peers, high school, Clemson, an unstoppable crescendo. Until the Houston call. So the Hopkins came out of the brink of poverty. But not only. Mamma Greenle has regained confidence in life. Because his "child" became the star of world football always wants her in the stands. Play for her. "It is enough for me to be there, I do not care that you do not see me", he confided in an intense video report to Espn. And she: "But I see it in my head, I visualize everything, I hear the sound of his footsteps, when he grabs the ball, I see it perfectly in my mind". And he again: "If I happen to not take a throw or lose it I say to myself: damn it, I disappointed Mom."
Hard to understand. With the class and the heart De Andre Hopkins is now a star in the world – who doesn't give anyone any discounts – of the National football league. There is always light beyond darkness.
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