Billy Walsh would love to see the 49ers play. He would love to go to San Francisco. He would love to see them in New York. Heck, he would love to go to an NFL game, period.
The thing is, he can't afford it. He worked for years as a bridge painter, dangling off most of the city's East River suspension bridges. But a few years back his foot was hit with a sand blaster. This caused nerve damage and has been on workman's comp ever since. Money is tight.
The draft, however, is free. He's been coming since 2000 and he figures this is as close to the NFL as he will get.
Walsh, having moved down from the mezzanine to a spot next to the stage, had turned gloomy. Round 6 was almost done. The draft was ending. Soon, he would have to leave.
"I have nothing to look forward to," he said sadly. "I'm hurt on the job and I have to stay home. It's boring. I look forward to the NFL season. And I really look forward to this. I love this."
He looked around, at the stage and the countdown clock and the video boards all suddenly so close and he shook his head.
"I hope the league – for just one year – would let the Die Hards come down here for the first day," he said.
LINK TO ORIGINAL STORY
So I'm not sure how everyone feels after reading this, but I say the Webzone should band together and get Billy Walsh to a 49er game this year.
UPDATE... The current goal is to get him a ticket or two to 49ers @ Jets at MetLife.
It sounds like he would be extremely loud at the game, and I bet it would make him very, very happy.
UPDATE... A Kickstarter account will be started if necessary, but I hit up Jed York & Scott Kegley to see if they are willing to help first.
LINK TO TWEET
SECOND TWEET - This time aimed at the Jets game.
ANOTHER UPDATE... A lot of you guys see Billy as a charity case. I understand that. I see this more as taking a fellow fan to a game, like giving a buddy an extra ticket. You are entitled to your own opinion though. I just don't see getting an extra ticket as that difficult to pull off. Just trying to do something nice. Whether or not Billy Walsh "deserves" the ticket is not something I have any desire to judge.
NEXT UPDATE... I am in contact with Les Carpenter, who wrote the story for Yahoo. He has a contact number for Billy. There is also a person who has come forward who suggested he would potentially pay for Billy's flight to SF (if we skip the MetLife idea).
So if Jed York gets the tickets and we get him some money for a cheap-but-not-rundown hotel room, this thing will be over real quick and won't cost much.
I am also open to this being an annual WebZone tradition of some sort, though it seems some of our members do not like the idea of helping those less fortunate unless those in need have circumstances they can specifically empathize with. I get where they are coming from... it's OK to disagree on this guys.
FINAL UPDATE... A very generous and kind individual has donated four great seats to Billy for his first 49ers game ever. Billy will travel to MetLife Stadium in September to watch the 49ers take on the Jets. It should be noted that a JETS fan donated the tickets to a game he could not attend. What a good guy.
If there are any other updates to this story, I will add them here. I may contact Les or Billy tomorrow to double-check on the above, but otherwise I think we're good.
Thanks for everyone's patience on this and be well.
[ Edited by NickSh49 on May 1, 2012 at 9:59 PM ]