The San Francisco 49ers’ Brandon Jacobs kept his promise to a young football fan, Joe Armento, who sent him $3.36 in an effort to get him to come back to the New York Giants.
When Jacobs was in New Jersey this week, he reached out to the Armento family. He took Joe and his 4-year-old brother to the Jump On In bounce house in Boonton, N.J. He brought along his own 5-year-old son, Brayden.
A few months ago, when 6-year-old Joe found out that Jacobs was leaving the Giants after the team’s Super Bowl win, the dedicated young fan decided to take matters into his own hands by dipping into his piggy bank.
Joe sent Jacobs all the money he could get out of it — $3.36.
“He asked me about it and said, ‘How come?’ They had just won the Super Bowl so he couldn’t understand it,” Armento told ABCNews.com. “He said, ‘I want to write him a letter and ask him to come back.’”
Joe went off to his playroom and came back with the money and a letter scribbled on a scrap of paper. He had written: “Dear Brandon Jacobs, So you could go to the Giants, here is my money. Love, Joe”
Months later, Jacobs received the letter and the money, The story went viral after he tweeted about it. While Jacobs is not coming back to the Giants, he tweeted that he might take Joe for a Chuck E. Cheese outing.
Instead, they went to the bounce house on Wednesday.
“It was just us in the whole place and we were just going room to room — just bouncing and flipping all over the place, hitting each other with balls, sweating, our shirts filthy,” Jacobs told the Sacramento Bee. “We were just dirty, stinky boys, you know?”
Jacobs told the paper that the four of them played for two hours straight, without even taking a water break. He gave Joe a signed Giants helmet and wrote on it, “To Joe: Thanks for being a fan. God bless, Brandon Jacobs.”
He also told the paper how Joe had inspired him.
“I’m at a point in my career when people have stopped believing in me and not believing that I can still play. But that’s not the case,” he said. “Joe believes in me, gave me a lot of confidence and a lot of want-to. And I’m ready to go. I can’t wait until the season starts.”
Jacobs also paid Joe back.
“He had some interest in there just for being a good kid,” Jacobs said. “He’s worth a lot more than that $5 bill I gave him.”
Later that day, Joe’s mom, Julie Armento, tweeted, “Thank you @gatorboy45 [Jacobs] for giving Joe and our family a lifetime memory. There will never be a better bounce house visit.”