NFL players shower first responders with praise

Published 1:26 pm Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Three Alabama natives are part of a Verizon commercial entitled, “The team that wouldn’t be.”

The 60-second ad features 11 NFL players whose lives were saved by first responders. It ran during the Pro Bowl on Sunday. In my opinion, the ad was really powerful.

Former Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron and long snapper Carson Tinker each spoke about events that changed their lives.  Center Ben Jones of Centreville, who played at Georgia, is also in the ad.

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McCarron, now a backup with the Oakland Raiders, and his mother, DeeDee Bonner, shared McCarron’s near-death experience. A jet-ski accident left the left side of McCarron’s face crushed when he was 4- years-old.

“To all the first responders, you’re the true heroes of this world,” McCarron said with tears running down his face. “They are the reason that I’m here.”

“I didn’t know if I was going to have to bury my son,” Bonner said.

An accident at a baseball game left Jones with a subdural hematoma when he was 10-years-old. Jones said he wouldn’t have been able to play pro football if not for the intervention of first responders. He now plays for the Tennessee Titans.

Tinker survived the tornado that devastated Tuscaloosa on April 27, 2011, despite being blown through the air by the storm and landing unconscious with multiple injuries. He plays for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

“There was a lot of people that didn’t make it through that day and for some reason, I did make it. Every day, I’m trying to earn it,” Tinker said.

During the campaign, Verizon will donate $1 to First Responder Outreach every time someone shares to Twitter or Facebook with #AllOurThanks from website via the share buttons, share any Verizon social-media post with #AllOurThanks.

Seeing the ad made me think about the first responders we have in Dallas County. I’m grateful for the Selma Police Department, Dallas County Sheriff’s Office, Dallas County EMA, Selma Fire Department, various local volunteer fire departments, paramedics and EMTs looking out for our residents