When NFL star Steve Smith was released from the Carolina Panthers earlier this month, no one — and we mean no one — was more upset than Gavin Simone.
The 7-year-old’s reaction to his favorite player being let go was filled with such raw emotion that it went viral after his dad Matt Simone posted it to YouTube.
Gavin’s screams that he would now cheer for “nobody” on the Panthers were so loud that they caught the ear of Smith himself, who tweeted a plea to find his most passionate fan.
I need that kids info. If anyone knw him or how to get in touch pls help me… I need help finding Gavin. The crying kid
— Steve Smith (@89SteveSmith) March 16, 2014
Smith not only found Gavin, he gave him the surprise of a lifetime today on “Good Morning America.”
Gavin appeared on “GMA” with his father and his younger sister — who was in the video trying to cheer up her brother by reminding him he could instead root for Cam Newton — for what he thought was an interview about his viral video.
When Smith himself walked out, Gavin appeared shocked at first but then gave his football hero a giant hug.
“Everybody was contacting me so I was like I’ve got to meet him and got to hook him up with some new Ravens gear,” said Smith, who signed a three-year deal with the Baltimore Ravens last Friday.
Smith, an All-Pro Wide Receiver, not only gave Gavin a new and “first-time only” edition of his jersey, he also announced on “GMA” that Gavin will join him at his Steve Smith Football ProCamp in Charlotte.