Andre Johnson > Santa Claus

Earlier this season, there were fantasy football reports across the major sites that included a rather depressing update about Houston Texans receiver Andre Johnson. I don’t remember which NFL reporter was involved, but these reports basically read something like, “Andre Johnson’s knees are done and he’s a shell of his former self” and yadda yadda. And it doesn’t matter who the reporter was, because Johnson has been a maniac for Houston of late, with 670 receiving yards over his last 5 games, and that includes a stupi-ridicu-tastical-donkulous 288-yard performance on Thanksgiving against the Detroit Lions.

But this isn’t about AJ’s on-field performances, at least not until he presumably torches the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football this week. This is about how Johnson took 12 “at-risk” kids to a Houston Toys-R-Us yesterday and let them run wild, grabbing as many toys as they could in 80 seconds. The result? Johnson shelled out more than $19,000 for their efforts.

Hold on a sec, my eyes just started leaking happy juice.

“A lot of these kids get discouraged because of where they grew up and things like that. I grew up in a single-parent home and I was fortunate to achieve my goals,” Johnson said of the kids, who all were exposed to some form of parental abuse. “So, whatever goals you have, just keep them out in front of you, don’t let anybody distract you away from them, because there will be distractions that try to detour you away from your goals. That’s the biggest thing.” (Via USA Today)

All things considered, this is the perfect kind of story for this week, not to make us forget what just happened this weekend, but to at least let people feel a little bit better. Especially if those kids bought all of the Avengers toys, because that stuff is awesome. Seriously, I’m so jealous of kids these days.

Also, if this tale of kindness could possibly inspire a TV network to bring back Supermarket Sweep, then I would give all of the MVP awards for the rest of eternity to Johnson.

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