Stevie Johnson donates his Super Bowl XLVI tickets

(Special to

INDIANAPOLIS — I started the day off with a nice breakfast with my wife Britney. I am happy to share my Super Bowl XLVI experience with her and it was a nice vacation away from our two kids.

I had a great time hosting an event at the Colonial Club with Warren Moon. I got to meet a lot of the big money people who helped get the funding needed to bring the Super Bowl to Indianapolis.

The highlight of the day was meeting Mark Armstrong and his brother David Armstrong in Indy … even though David is a Patriots fan. Mark is the winner of a Super Bowl ticket giveaway that I hosted on Twitter prior to the Super Bowl. After experiencing the 49ers-Giants playoff game, I thought it would be nice give someone the opportunity to experience the energy and crazy vibe of the Super Bowl.

I took to Twitter and asked my followers to nominate someone other than themselves who they believed deserved the opportunity to win a ticket to the Super Bowl with a surprise guest. The goal was to inspire others to be selfless and think of others who were important to them. After a couple of days, it became apparent that Mark was going to be the winner.

Mark, a star high school quarterback at Clarence High School in Buffalo, N.Y., recently had lost his father to a heart attack. When I announced the contest, his friends, teammates, classmates,  family members and even people who didn’t know Mark directly, sent me tweet after tweet nominating Mark to win. Mark never responded or campaigned to get them to do that, he was humble and thanked those who did mention him. There had to be at least 300 mentions on why Mark should get the tickets.

Mark was the easy choice, but when I had my agent try to get a hold of his mom to see if Mark could go, it didn’t seem like it would happen. I don’t think his mom thought it was a real thing. They obviously were going through such an unimaginable time and to have “Stevie Johnson” calling them to say that her son won a chance to go to the Super Bowl was hard to believe. My agent got Mark’s cell number so I called him directly.

Originally, I was planning on only having one winner, with me being the surprise guest. When Mark’s mom told my agent that the only way Mark could go was if his older brother went with him, I gladly gave up my personal ticket so that Mark’s brother David could go. Mark and David had to suffer a great loss in their father, attending the funeral YESTERDAY.

Today, they get to go to the Super Bowl. I know it doesn’t take away the pain, but I sure hope it helps them escape for a couple of hours and enjoy the Super Bowl. Mark is a longtime Colts fan and David is a Patriots fan, so they both have something invested in the game.

I will be watching the game with my wife Britney in our hotel room. No better way to spend Super Bowl Sunday.

— Stevie Johnson

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