Bruschi chats live, makes birthday call

Tedy Bruschi talks with Mike Mayock on the NFL Network set on Tuesday. (Ben Liebenberg / NFL.com)

Tedy Bruschi talks with Mike Mayock on the NFL Network set on Tuesday. (Ben Liebenberg / NFL.com)

Every once in a while, we here at NFL.com have a first-hand chance to see how important football and its players are to fans around the country. Tuesday, we experienced one of those times.

Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi was taking part in a live chat on NFL.com, and near the end, he received a request from Colin Campbell in Brockton, Mass., asking the veteran player to call his father, Danny Campbell, to wish him a happy birthday. Bruschi thought it was a cool idea, so he dialed the phone … and no answer. Danny wasn’t in, so Tedy left a voice mail, explaining he was taking part in a live chat and that Colin had asked him to make a birthday call to his dad’s favorite player.

Even better was that Papa Campbell called NFL Network a few minutes later to make sure it was legit. It was, and he explained that at first he thought it was a marketing call because Bruschi is the spokesperson for a Boston-area pizza chain. Um, not this time — but Danny thought the effort was “extremely thoughtful.”

“I wish I wasn’t screening my calls all the time,” the elder Campbell said. “That was one call I wish I would have answered, that’s for sure.”

Happy 49th birthday, Danny.

Be sure to see more of Bruschi on NFL Network’s Total Access (7 p.m. ET) on Tuesday or check out clips from the show on NFL.com. You’ll see in the chat transcript that Bruschi’s knee is doing fine and that he is planning on playing next season. Then he’ll evaluate his options at the end of the season.

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