Bryan Kehl: The Fans' Player

Dave JohnsonContributor ISeptember 4, 2009

Come one, come all to the award ceremony for the New York Giants’ Fan Favorite Player from training camp. I submit just one name to you: Bryan Kehl.

Not many fans recognize No. 53 right now, which is understandable. Bryan came to the Giants out of the fourth round of the 2008 draft. His play is physical, and he definitely shows promise as a potential future starter. But for right now, he gets most of his action late in games once the team has a solid lead.

But I’m not honoring him for his work on the field. Instead, his behavior towards the fans at training camp makes him an easy selection for this little award that I’ve created (for the purpose of this article).

Many players make a good effort to talk to their fans when they can, and sign a few autographs when the time permits. No player is better about this than Bryan Kehl. Over several days at camp, I noticed that he consistently talked to every single fan that was at the fence waiting for an autograph, and signed every thing that was put in front of him. We’re not talking about a cursory “hello,” either, with a half-grimace on his face. He was very friendly and even had brief conversations with some kids along the lines of, “Listen to your mom, and stay out of trouble.”

In an era when too many sports idols don’t live up to their heroic reputations off the field, it is refreshing to know that some professional athletes can set a positive example in real life, when they’re not even prompted to do so.