The Cincinnati Bengals lost their 13th game of the season on Sunday, to the New England Patriots.
But something positive came out of the game for at least one Bengals player.
Mixon gets gift in mail
On Friday, running back Joe Mixon was in Cincinnati’s locker room clutching a signed Tom Brady jersey.
It had arrived that day, a gift from the Patriots’ quarterback. Brady signed it, “Joe, a great player! Keep going!” and “Bay Area’s finest!”
Mixon graduated from Freedom High in Oakley, Calif., in the greater San Francisco Bay area. Brady is from San Mateo, Calif. and graduated from Junipero Serra High; the schools are about 65 miles apart.
“Man I say this in the most humbled way I’m so Blessed to be playing this game,” Mixon wrote on Twitter. “Super Thankful for the G.O.A.T. Tom Brady Best Christmas gift ever.”
‘Too scared to ask’
Mixon got the jersey from Brady after a tweet Sunday night.
Bruh.. I still can’t believe I shook @TomBrady hand today and had a lil conversation with him😂 I ain’t gone lie I wanted to ask for his jersey but was too scared to ask🤦🏽♂️😂
— ⚡️Primetime!!!⚡️ (@Joe_MainMixon) December 16, 2019
“Bruh.. I still can’t believe I shook [Tom Brady’s] hand today and had a lil conversation with him. I ain’t gone lie I wanted to ask for his jersey but was too scared to ask,” he wrote.
Brady saw the note and responded, saying that he’d send a jersey.
And he wasn’t the only member of the Patriots showing respect to Mixon: in his postgame comments, coach Bill Belichick said of the third-year player, “Mixon is maybe the best back in the league. He probably is the best back in the league. He runs so hard. He's so hard to tackle.”
Mixon paying it forward
Brady’s gesture inspired Mixon; he said that later Friday he would be going to a Boys & Girls Club to “give the gift forward” and bring some of his own jerseys to children there.
Man I say this in the most humbled way I’m so Blessed to be playing this game. Super Thankful for the https://t.co/eD9G0mRPE1. @TomBrady Best Christmas gift ever. Later Today I’m headed down to the boys and girls club today to give the gift forward today with my own jersey’s. pic.twitter.com/EpBtPSMigq
— ⚡️Primetime!!!⚡️ (@Joe_MainMixon) December 20, 2019
More from Yahoo Sports: