Giants' Kareem Martin Surprises Coach with Down Syndrome with Super Bowl Tickets

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistOctober 12, 2019

New York Giants outside linebacker Kareem Martin (96) motions on the field during the second quarter of a preseason NFL football game against the Chicago Bears, Friday, Aug. 16, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
Adam Hunger/Associated Press

Matt Gray, a New Jersey-based volunteer football coach with Down syndrome, was presented with two tickets to attend Super Bowl LIV in Miami at halftime of his team's game Friday night.

The NFL posted video of New York Giants linebacker Kareem Martin surprising Gray, who coaches at Park Ridge High School in New Jersey, with the tickets:


.@Giants LB Kareem Martin surprised @PRowlsathletics beloved assistant football coach Matt Gray with tickets to #SBLIV! "MattyIce" lives with down syndrome, but has never let it deter his passion and dedication for football and his team. 💙 #SuperBowlSurprise | #NFL100 https://t.co/v50OfWAicD

Sunil Sunder Raj @SunilSunderRaj3

@DoubleGSports #KareemMartin @reemthedream_95 with #MattGray of #ParkRidge @PR_OwlsFootball cheerleaders #ParkRidgeHighSchool 🏈 https://t.co/doYBlnGr55

Martin sent some well wishes Gray's way on Twitter as well:

Kareem Martin @reemthedream_95

Best of luck to you MattyIce! A pleasure being able to be a part of your #SuperBowlSurprise! #NFL100 https://t.co/JCsKehDDBV

According to Sean Farrell of the North Jersey Record, Gray helped out with the football, wrestling and lacrosse teams while he was a student at Park Ridge and was kept on as a volunteer coach afterward.

Park Ridge head coach Tom Curry Jr. called Gray an "unbelievable asset to our team" and added that the NFL "couldn't have picked a better kid."

Gray and his family had no idea he was going to be given the tickets, and Gray is looking forward to the experience in February: "I'm excited. It was very special."

The 21-year-old Gray, who earned the tickets through an NFL contest focused on those who impact football within their communities, is known as Matty Ice by those who follow the Park Ridge football team.

Farrell noted that while Gray is a fan of Martin and the Giants, he also roots for Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, with whom he shares his nickname.

Super Bowl LIV will be held Feb. 2 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, and it will be highlighted by a celebration of the NFL's 100th season.