One Juneau kid’s dreams came true on live national TV this week.
Camdyn Clancy appeared on ABC’s morning talk show “Good Morning America” Tuesday as the unexpected grand-prize winner of the NFL PLAY 60 Super Kid contest, which grants him an all-expense paid trip to Atlanta next month to cover Super Bowl LIII.
As part of the deal, Clancy — who is 8 years old, a third-grader and who has played the past four seasons in the Juneau Youth Football League — will deliver the official game ball to the officiating crew just prior the start of the game.
NFL PLAY 60, a campaign centered on 60 minutes of daily physical activity, received several hundred entries for the contest, according to a press release. To apply, kids created short videos sharing their football story. Clancy’s filmed his in mid-November in front of the Mendenhall Glacier, and highlighted his dedication to the sport: “I play every single day outside.”
In his first season of tackle football last fall, Clancy’s team, the Tigers, won the Cub Division championship.
“To go to the Super Bowl was always my dream,” Clancy said Wednesday by phone from New York City. “’I’ve always asked my parents, ‘Can we go to the Super Bowl one day?’ and they’re like, ‘Well, it’s too much money.’”
Clancy’s mom, Hannah, said she never thought their son would win the contest.
“We didn’t think he really had a chance,” Hannah Clancy said. “But as a parent, we wanted him to know that we supported him no matter what. But most importantly, (the) life lesson we were trying to get him to learn was if you want something, it’s all about the try, so still go for it.”
She added that “the fact that we actually submitted it and he won is pretty unreal. We’re still trying to soak it all in, even the last 24, 48 hours, all the places that we’ve gone and the shows that he’s been on and the people that he’s met, we’re exhausted.”
The NFL revealed the big news to Hannah and her husband two weeks ago. They were asked to keep it a secret until Clancy could make his debut on Good Morning America.
“It was probably the hardest secret we’ve ever kept in our entire life, especially knowing how much our son loves football, and how he dreams of going to the Super Bowl,” Hannah Clancy said. “The NFL’s been great — they’ve booked everything for us, we just kind of show up and they got our itinerary set for us.”
Clancy was under the impression he was going to New York City for one final interview for the contest. After welcoming the young quarterback on stage, Good Morning America co-host Michael Strahan flipped the script on Clancy.
“There’s a little something we failed to mention,” said Strahan, a member of the Super Bowl XLII champion Giants. “You’re not a finalist, you’re the winner, my friend!”
As confetti and red balloons rained down from above, Clancy raised both his arms in celebration, mouth agape with joy while staring up at the ceiling.
“I was in shock as you can see from the video,” Clancy said. “My eyes are popped open, my mouth is open, I was like, ‘Did I actually win?’”
“Of course I had tears in my eyes,” Hannah Clancy said. “There’s nothing better than seeing your kids at their happiest and the realization of one of their biggest dreams coming true. As a parent, there’s nothing more I could ever ask for, it was definitely a feeling I’ll never forget.”
Clancy made a second appearance on national television as a guest on the NFL Network’s Good Morning Football on Wednesday. Host Kay Adams asked the young Alaskan what he was most looking forward about his week in Georgia.
“Well, the game itself,” Clancy said emphatically. “The NFC team and the AFC team going face to face — it doesn’t get any better than that.”
Later in the segment, which can be viewed at nfl.com/videos/good-morning-football, Clancy spoke in support of the Kansas City Chiefs in their matchup against New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game on Sunday.
“I think Patrick Mahomes can pass over 300 passing yards,” he said.
Super Bowl LIII will be played at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Sunday, Feb. 3 on CBS between the New England Patriots or Kansas City Chiefs and New Orleans Saints or Los Angeles Rams.
• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or email@example.com. Follow Empire Sports on Twitter at @akempiresports.