Bird's Bravest surprise a Philly firefighter

PHILADELPHIA - November 11, 2011

Offensive Guard Danny Watkins was not alone when he delivered the free tickets.

The help comes all the way from Canada! And this Birds' Bravest recipient sits at the heart of the Philadelphia Fire Department, and serves as the aide to the commissioner himself.

"I got something for you. It's 4 tickets to the Cardinals game this weekend," Danny Watkins said to a surprised Rodney Norris.

"Oh cool!" Rodney said.

Rodney Norris knew immediately he had been set up by his boss.

"I truly am surprised," Rodney said. "I was told I was coming downtown for another mission so to speak."

Over the last year, Rodney has been dealing with the loss of several close family members and medical problems with his wife. But through it all, Commissioner Lloyd Ayers says Rodney kept his head held high.

"Rod is a hero in my eyes, and he's just a great person," said Commissioner Lloyd Ayers.

The give-away was an extra treat for Danny's firefighter buddies who were visiting from Vancouver, Canada.

His captain says he was not surprised that Danny was giving back to his service "brothers"


"His heart is with the fire service," said Captain Lionel Bateman. "He loves the fire department, he loves the guys."

Lionel says even the morning of the NFL draft, Danny and his friends spent three hours at a local fire station, just hanging out.

And this trip was no different.

"I met guys this week, and I'm just like 'wow'. I mean the stuff you guys are doing; it makes me proud to be doing the job that I do. It's a brotherhood wherever we go," said Lionel.

Commissioner Ayers has been excited about the ticket giveaway from day one.

"It's just fantastic, touching our members, people who do a good job, who've been through hardships," Commission Ayers said. "All across the department, whether you are a recipient or just watching, it gives us pride and lets us know that people care about us."

After Sunday, there are three more home games left, so stay with Action News for more surprises!

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