Alshon Jeffery may have missed the catch Sunday, but he managed to hang on to the unwavering support of one West Chester second grader.
On homemade stationery with pink and Eagles-green hearts, 8-year-old Abigail Johnson penned a message of encouragement to the Birds' wide receiver, letting him know she still loves him following the heartbreaking, postseason-ending slipup against the Saints.
“When I watched the play last night I was crying,” the Sarah Starkweather Elementary School student wrote in a class creative writing assignment Monday. "It’s okay to loose [sic] a game you don’t always have to win a game … I think you are a awsome [sic] player no matter what.”
A self-described “huge Eagles fan," Abigail loves watching football with her family, said her father, Raymond Johnson, who tweeted a photo of his daughter’s heartfelt letter to Jeffery.
When the Birds win, Abigail celebrates with a E-A-G-L-E-S cheer and victory dance.
When they lose, the family uses the game as a “teachable moment,” said Johnson, a pastor at The Journey Church.
“One of things we want to teach our children is to work hard and compete graciously, but also to learn well and lose well,” Johnson said. “[Abigail] responding this way to a loss … it’s not the first time, but it’s the first time she’s done it on her own and in a written way, and we think that’s excellent.”
She told Jeffery to keep practicing.
“I know you can do it,” she wrote. "We all know you are a good player.”
And while she may have cornered the market on best crayon-drawn well wishes, Abigail isn’t the only one embracing the wide receiver.
After the ball slipped through Jeffrey’s hands and into the arms of the Saints' Marshon Lattimore near the end of the fourth quarter Sunday, Jeffery was quick to take the blame for the missed catch.
“That’s on me,” he told reporters. "I’ll take that loss. I let my teammates down, the city of Philadelphia.”