14-Year-Old Cancer Patient Calls Plays for Ravens

Cam Cameron calls on local kid with inoperable brain tumor
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 15, 2010 2:35 PM CST
Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron answers questions after football practice on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010 in Owings Mills, Md.   (AP Photo/Gail Burton)
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(Newser) – The Baltimore Ravens have a new top-secret offensive mastermind: Matthew Costello, a 14-year-old with an inoperable brain tumor. Costello goes to school with offensive coordinator Cam Cameron’s son Danny. When Danny told his dad about Costello’s recent diagnosis, Cameron, a cancer survivor himself, rushed over to meet him, Rick Reilly writes for ESPN. After a chat about football, Cameron asked, “Hey, Matthew, whaddya wanna call for our first play Sunday?”

Stunned, Costello suggested a play-action pass to Todd Heap. Sure enough, Baltimore called the play that Sunday, first for an incompletion, and later for a 14-yard touchdown. Three weeks later, Cameron called Costello again. “Run the ball,” Matt commanded. “Ray Rice. He’s hot.” Sure enough, Rice ran for an 83-yard touchdown on the game’s first play. “I just looked to the sky,” says Cameron, “and said, ‘Maybe there’s something to this kid!’”

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