Derek Godwin, 51, is a lifelong Philadelphia Eagles fan who has never been able to make it to a game. He's lived his entire life in Ocean City, Maryland where he works as a foreman at the city's Convention Center and is looking forward to retiring soon.
One of the main reasons he hasn't been able to attend a game in person is that his daughter, Dayona, who recently graduated college, played basketball throughout high school and college and during football season, he was always at her games.
But all that will change soon after Derek received the most wonderful gift from his daughter and wife for Father's Day, two tickets to the Eagles game versus Washington at FedEx field in Landover, Maryland in week 17.
They chose to get tickets to an away game because it's a closer drive than going to Philadelphia. the after and daughter are going to see the game together.
Derek had the best reaction when he opened up the gift and saw the tickets.
My dad has been an Eagles fan his whole entire life and he’s never been to an NFL game let alone an Eagles game…. W… https://t.co/0yWT56dNbv— Day💕 (@Day💕) 1624244034.0
"Stop playing," an emotional Derek said as he opened the tickets. The tickets were accompanied by a letter written by Dayona.
"I wanted to start off by saying how much of an amazing father you are and I am just so blessed and grateful to have someone like you to show me what a man is supposed to be and how I deserve to be treated," she wrote.
"You've been an Eagles fan for a long time ...longer than I've been born and you've never been to an Eagles game," she added, "and every year I've been saying 'we're going to eagles game we're going to eagles game' but unfortunately basketball has always been in the way."
At the end of the letter, she directed her father to turn the page over to see where the seats are and they're incredible, 45-yard line, field-level about ten rows from the front. It'd be hard to find a better seat in the entire stadium.
A tweet of Derek's reaction to getting the tickets went viral and inspired some great responses. A lot of people shared memories of going to games with their fathers.
DM me a Zelle account and I'll buy your dad a cheesesteak to enjoy at the game! My father passed away when I was 10 but my best memories are walking up to the yellow seats at the Vet every other Sunday in the fall.
— George Cole (@GWCOLEIII) June 22, 2021
You're now every Philadelphia Eagles fans favorite daughter... Eagles for life babygirl Eagles for life pic.twitter.com/J1DOtvmBSg
— NvestintoU (@nvestinto) June 21, 2021
What a beautiful tribute to your father. I always say: “Daddies and Daughters do amazing things!" #FlyEaglesFly
— Randy Robinson (@RandyRobinson65) June 24, 2021
Dayona told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the tickets were a way of saying thank you for his sacrifices over all those years. "He just prioritized me, along with my mom. They were committed to just being there supporting me doing everything I had to do," Dayona said. "He put his wants to the side for me."
Her dad is over the moon to go to the game.
"He's just super excited. You'd think he was a little kid on Christmas just opening his presents," Dayona said. "Making my dad happy is everything."
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