As those who watched last week's hour-long NFL Network special called "Road to Canton: Andre Reed" now know, the former Dieruff High and Kutztown University standout had a challenging road to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The documentary held nothing back in talking about the demons Andre's father, Calvin, faced with alcoholism.
And, at one point, Joyce Reed-Ebling, Andre's mother, talked about having to go to work with "black and blue eyes" because of the physical abuse connected to Calvin Reed's addiction.
The story had a happy ending because Calvin eventually defeated alcoholism and became the beloved father everyone in the Reed family wanted him to be, and it became clear that Andre wouldn't have made it to Canton without the encouragement of his father.
It was a great story about overcoming adversity and it was mentioned prominently during Andre's superb acceptance speech Saturday night at Canton's Fawcett Stadium.
Reed's induction into the Hall of Fame provided a stage for another poignant story to be told — the one about his dear friend Jim Kelly's battle with cancer.
The most replayed sound bite from Reed's speech was the one that featured him saying: "I was known for my toughness. … but the toughest individual I've ever met in my life is No. 12, Jim Kelly.
"You taught us not to quit," Reed said. "You have endured a lot in your life. The loss of your son, and most recently your battle with cancer. You're an inspiration to all you touch."
And then there was that special: "You know the old saying, bro — 12 plus 83 always equals six." That nearly brought down the house.
Reed's speech, arguably the most compelling of the entire night, was capped by that special pass from Kelly to Reed, a completion perhaps even more memorable than any of the 663 they had as Buffalo teammates.
The replay will be shown every year when it's time to look back on memorable Hall of Fame moments.
Kelly's fight against cancer that began in his oral cavity was detailed in several segments last weekend, including ESPN's "Outside the Lines" program Sunday morning and an interview at halftime of NBC's Sunday Night Hall of Fame Game featuring the Bills and the Giants.
The OTL segment was particularly revealing, showing the struggles Kelly has gone through over the past 14 months.
But it also showed the support of his family — wife Jill and daughters Erin and Camryn in particular — and the care of his former Bills teammates, including Reed, and the entire NFL community.
Here's a guy who lost a son, Hunter, who was diagnosed with globoid-cell leukodystrophy (Krabbe disease) shortly after his birth and died at the age of 8.
Rather than become bitter, Kelly dedicated the rest of his life to raising funds to help others battling Hunter's disease and others with similar afflictions.
Now that he's struggling, everyone is rallying around him, and rightly so.
And let it be known that Kelly just didn't make a cameo appearance for his friend last weekend. He fulfilled every obligation and was by his teammate's side as much as possible.
Coming off his extensive chemo treatments, it would have been understandable if he didn't show up in Canton at all, but he was there — even at Reed's post-induction party for friends and family that stretched deep into the night.
"I never had a doubt that Jim Kelly would show up for Andre Reed," Cris Collinsworth said during NBC's Sunday night broadcast. "The fact that he came here, going through what he's going through right now, to be here with his teammate spoke volumes about the guy as a person. He is one of the great fighters of all time."
Suffice to say, if you weren't a Jim Kelly fan before last weekend, you probably are now.
Collinsworth had nothing but very positive comments for Giants rookie and former Parkland High and Boston College standout Andre Williams after the nation's leading collegiate rusher in 2013 had an impressive debut Sunday night with 48 yards on seven carries and a touchdown.
"I absolutely love this young man," Collinsworth said. "I know they brought Rashad Jennings in here to be the No. 1 back, but I wouldn't be surprised if Andre Williams doesn't at least get to split reps in the backfield."
After Al Michaels wondered how Williams slipped to the fourth round, Collinsworth said: "I see a young man who is very hard to tackle. When you watch him, even in practice, he has a way of slipping tackles and making people miss. He's a load."
ESPN's Dan Le Batard seems more intent on making news than commenting or writing about it. His purchase of a billboard ad in Akron, sending a message to LeBron James from Miami with the inscription "You're welcome LeBron. Love, Miami" resulted in ESPN's pulling him off the air for two days.
"His recent stunt does not reflect ESPN's standards and brand," ESPN said in a statement.
Did you know?
The NFL's regular-season kickoff Sept. 4, featuring the Packers against the defending champion Seahawks, will come with lots of music. The NFL Kickoff Presented by Xbox will begin at 7:30 p.m. and include performances by Pharrell "Happy" Williams and Soundgarden, a rock band formed in Seattle. Ariana Grande will sing the national anthem.
ESPN's seventh annual College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon will offer more than 24 hours of consecutive coverage to start the 2014-15 season over Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 17-18, with 19 men's and women's games on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU. The marathon will include nine straight games tipping off every two hours beginning Monday with an ESPN2 tripleheader at 7 p.m.
Donovan McNabb and former Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn are among the newcomers on the Fox NFL broadcast team. McNabb and Quinn will work with veteran play-by-play man Dick Stockton. Fox's No. 1 team will continue to be Joe Buck, Troy Aikman and Erin Andrews.
KEITH'S CAN'T MISS … The much-anticipated second season of the Chip Kelly Era in Philadelphia begins with a preseason game at Chicago on Friday night. 6ABC has the coverage beginning at 8 p.m. All Eagles preseason games will be available on 6ABC, and the final three games will also be shown live on the NFL Network.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun