Atlanta Falcons kicker Matt Bryant often reflects on the good times he shared with his father as a kid, such as when his dad coached him in football, soccer, basketball and baseball. “The only thing I didn't do was ice hockey, and that's because we didn't have ice in Bridge City [Texas],” Bryant said. “But he was my coach for everything going into junior high. My best memory of my dad was probably him being there for all of my events.” William "Casey” Bryant remains with his son, in spirit. He passed away on Christmas Day of 2009 of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease. From that day forward, Matt Bryant vowed to honor his father in a special manner by wearing black wristbands rather than white ones during any game over the Christmas holiday. Bryant will wear those black wristbands Sunday in New Orleans, when the 9-5 Falcons take on the 10-4 rival Saints in an important NFC South showdown. “I told myself I'd wear them around Sept. 24 for Tryson (Bryant's late son, who died in 2008 of sudden infant death syndrome) and the Christmas game for my dad,” Bryant said. “I just decided black because that's our other color. Just wanted to have some different.” Bryant's father was diagnosed with ALS in the offseason of 2007, when Bryant was still kicking for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. To this day, he can hear his father's voice urging him to be an aggressive athlete.
Falcons' Matt Bryant to honor father's memory Sunday with black wristbands
ESPN | Dec 24