Jared Lorenzen's death in July left a hole in the heart of the New York Giants. A member of the team for four years, he developed an undeniably special bond with Eli Manning. He was even Manning's backup on the 2007 team that won an upset victory over the undefeated New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, often credited with improving his ball security through practice drills (a trait that Manning came to relish when Adalius Thomas came calling).
And even now that he's gone, his legacy still lives on. On Thursday, Lorenzen's youngest son, Tayden, got to meet Manning and a handful of other Giants players at halftime during their preseason matchup against the Bengals. Tayden, of course, had met Manning before; the Giants' starter attended Lorenzen's funeral this past offseason.
The elder nLorenzen and Manning became fast friends despite taking polar opposite tracks to the NFL. The former was an undrafted rookie free agent that signed with the Giants in 2004, while the latter was the first overall pick that same year.
Tayden and Lorenzen's nephew, Tucker Lee, also got the chance to play in a game of their own during the midway point of the exhibition match, trodding on the same grass as the NFL players in their midst.
This was an extremely touching moment. The meeting between Manning and Tayden served as a reminder of the power football can have in bringing two people together in a time of grief.
Though Lorenzen is no longer alive, his friends and family are both still around to remember the legacy he left as both a player and a person.