If you ever have the misfortune to be trapped inside a van laying on its side next to a busy highway, may it also be your good fortune to have a kind-hearted NFL player nearby. Preferably, former Arizona Cardinals tight end Ben Patrick, because he's good at it.
Patrick was in his Lamborghini on I-17 near Phoenix when he saw a van overturned. Without even a lot of thought, Patrick, with the help of some friends and strangers, stopped and helped pull people from the vehicle. From Jennifer Thomas at azfamily.com:
[Patrick] said he could smell gas leaking from the van and knew he had to act fast.
"My first thought was just to help the people on the inside," he said.
Patrick ran over and started pulling people out of the vehicle.
"I ran over and I looked in the front window and everybody was laying sideways and I debated on kicking the window in, but I didn't want to get glass over everyone," he said.
So Patrick and some other people teamed up and helped pull everyone out of the van. They even left the windows intact. It was a selfless act, done for people who were frightened and in need. The word "hero" would not be inappropriate.
As for Patrick's career, well, recently, it hasn't been as noteworthy as his exploits in altruism. After spending three years with the Cardinals (which included a touchdown reception in Super Bowl XLIII), Jones was out of football last year. He signed briefly with the Giants, but then retired five days later.
He's now unretired and says he's hoping to sign as a free agent with the Carolina Panthers and make the Charlotte, N.C., roadways that much safer.