Feel Good Story Of The Day

Via Jonathan Turley, a name from the past and a ten year old kid with a heart:

Perry won’t say what happened to his Super Bowl XX ring, whether he misplaced it, if it was stolen or if he sold it to pay medical bills. But he was recently contacted by the family of a 10-year-old boy from Pittsburgh who used $8,500 of his college money to buy the ring, which is big enough around for the young sports memorabilia collector to wear as a bracelet.

Instead of keeping it, young Cliff Forrest insisted on returning the ring to its rightful owner, which he did Saturday morning after flying to Chicago with his family.

“I Googled Mr. Perry and saw that he had a disease and had to sell it because of rough times,” young Cliff said. “He only played in one Super Bowl. I thought he would want it more than I did.”

That just struck me as a really nice thing that kid did.


FILED UNDER: Sports, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Ben says:

    It was nice of the kid, but what parent lets their 10-year-old kid spend 8,500 dollars of their college money on sports memorabilia (and now it’s completely gone) ?

  2. michael reynolds says:

    I don’t understand how in the Libertarian philosophy this can be a good thing.

    Why, to paraphrase a certain libertarian, should I care about Mr. Perry? Clearly he had insufficient health care coverage which is his fault. If he’s sick and broke, too bad. Our duty is to look out for ourselves and let everyone else take care of themselves.

    So clearly young master Forrest is being very poorly raised. First because his parents threw away $8,500. And secondly because they’ve taught him to feel concern for someone other than himself.

    They sound like liberals to me, letting sentiment dictate action. Next thing you know they’ll be teaching the kid to care about people in far off lands like Ivory Coast.

  3. TG Chicago says:

    I’m asking the same question as Ben. And wondering if Perry will end up needing to sell the ring again. This is the first time I’ve seen an alleged “feel good story” that kind of makes me feel bad.

  4. Michael,

    Your sarcasm aside, there is nothing about this that’s inconsistent with libertarian principles. If someone makes a value choice that parting with something of value for free is what they want to do then that’s the right choice for them. There is no such thing as an objectively right or wrong choice here. In economics, all value is subjective.

  5. TG,

    Yea, Perry obviously has had some hard times of late. I recall that he was too ill to travel for the 25th anniversary celebration for the 85 Bears.

    As for the kid, the story also mentions in a part I did not quote that he had inherited a large sports memorabilia collection from his uncle a couple years ago (hence his interest in the area, I assume). It’s possible that collection is more than what was in the bank account.

  6. jwest says:


    The kid and his family are obviously conservatives. He recognized Perry as someone who fell for the lies of the union, thinking he would be cared for if only he paid his dues on time. Compassion, being the hallmark of conservativism, runs deep in this boy. He spent the $8,500 knowing that Obama’s days in the White House are numbered, and that soon his ability to earn unlimited amounts would be unfettered. His family, recognizing the right of the individual to earn and spend as they wish, must be proud members of the right.

    If he was a liberal, he would have insisted that everyone in the country get a Super Bowl ring (and a Nobel Prize), without any regard to earning it. As a liberal, he would never consider using his own money to help Perry, he would be looking for “fat cat rich people” to tax excessively.

    All the indicators are there, Michael. You’ve just got to look for them.

  7. Sigh.

    Must political nonsense worm its way into everything in this world now?

  8. jwest says:


    You’re not going to believe it, but I’ve seen a 2 year old autistic kid being used as a political football. What kind of person does that?

  9. PJ says:

    Sarah Palin? Or did she only use him as a prop?

  10. michael reynolds says:

    Nice try, Doug, but you applied your own value judgment when you wrote the post. Right? If it’s a “feel good” story it must be that it made you feel good.


    Why would someone making what is on its face a foolish economic choice — one that may cost the young man a chance at college — make you “feel good?” Or feel at all?

    I would guess because you consider charity and generosity and empathy to be positive things. Virtues. Am I wrong about that?

    Getting back to the Ivory Coast, you kept defiantly asking why you should care, why you should feel anything about it all, and denounced unnamed people who were trying to make you feel something about it. Sorry, but there’s a conflict between defiant indifference to the suffering of other people and a tender concern for the plight of one ex football player.

    You’re inadvertently pointing to the very reason so many people believe libertarianism is at heart a sort of philosophical and moral immaturity. It’s a conflict between your conscience and your selfishness which you try to resolve in favor of selfishness by appealing to an ideology.

    You have a certain regard for those who show empathy for their fellow man, but deny those feelings in yourself because to express them is to suggest that they should be acted upon. On the flip side, when you are unable to act upon them and alleviate suffering, you are left with unhappy emotions and feelings of helplessness. You don’t want to act because to do so would cost you, but to refuse to act causes you guilt.

    You resolve the matter by affecting indifference and ignoring the human consequences. You look for a consistent ideology that will somehow justify what you know is an immoral indifference to your fellow man. The supposed consistency of that ideology gives you a rationale because you simply assign to consistency a ranking higher than it deserves.

    But it’s really just a defense mechanism dressed up as ideology. You’re looking for an excuse not to give a damn about anyone but yourself, and certainly not take the risk of committing yourself to others. You are a rock, you re an island. Eventually you’ll find that to be a rather empty position.

  11. Bruce in Jersey says:

    Relax, everyone. Have a look at the source reports (cites below). The kid’s college education is not at risk unless coal mining tanks. Here’s what I found that rounds out the incomplete picture on Jonathan Turley’s blog (copy of comment I posted there follows):

    Yes, the story is heartwarming, but there are a few facts your readers should know before they send a contribution to young Cliff’s college fund. Cliff is Cliff Forrest (two r’s, not Forest), Jr., and he’s not from California. He’s from Pittsburgh, PA, where his father, Cliff Forrest Sr., is the owner of Rosebud Mining Company, which operates 26 coal mines in Ohio and Pennsylvania. (This information reported in the Sun Times http://www.suntimes.com/sports/football/4634086-419/the-fridge-stunned-to-get-super-bowl-ring-back.html and ESPN Chicago: http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/nfl/news/story?id=6290024)

    I haven’t sniffed out Rosebud’s financials, but one can safely assume a man who owns 26 coal mines is pretty wealthy. This detracts very little from 10-year-old Cliff Jr.’s generosity. The fact that he’s got his own savings fund indicates his parents are raising him to manage money responsibly, and nothing compels a boy to give money away, even if he knows there’s more coming to him. But I don’t think his mother would have let him spend $8500 to recover a sentimental treasure for a down-at-the-heels ex-football player if it placed his future college education in any real jeopardy.

    So what we have here is a well-to-do family making a really nice gesture, and that is still praiseworthy, but – alas – not quite the same as if a poor or middle-income kid had done it.