When we last heard from six-year-old Joe Armento, he had unsuccessfully attempted to persuade running back Brandon Jacobs, who had just signed as a free agent with the San Francisco 49ers, to stay put in New York. More precisely, he tried to lure him back by enclosing in the envelope $3.36 from his piggy bank. We hear that's like $1.4 million to a six-year-old, but Jacobs can make up to $2 million this season if he hits certain incentives.
Still, Jacobs tweeted out the letter (sent by Joe's mom) and the cold, cold heart of the blogosphere was temporarily thawed. In a follow-up phone call to Joe's mother, Jacobs expressed how much he appreciated the letter and said that he would soon be back in New Jersey to pack up his stuff before heading out west for good and that he would try to swing by and meet Joe in person.
Well, Jacobs finally made good on that promise, visiting Joe and his family one day this week for a couple of hours. Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee has the details:
Jacobs was touched by the gesture and told Armento's mother, Julie, that he would be in New Jersey for a short time this week while he packed up his belongings and moved his family to the Bay Area. He thought his original idea for a meeting place, Chuck E. Cheese, might cause too much of scene. So they settled on a bounce house.
Jacobs, 29, brought his five-year-old son, Brayden, and the four kids - Jacobs included - played non-stop for nearly two hours. No one even took a water break.
"He told me he really wanted to get out there with the kids," Julie Armento said in a phone interview with The Bee. "He really wanted to enjoy it, and he did. It was amazing."
Said Jacobs, also by phone: "It was just us in the whole place and we were just going room to room - just bouncing and flipping all over the place, hitting each other with balls, sweating, our shirts filthy. We were just dirty, stinky boys, you know?"
Joe also got a signed Giants helmet from Jacobs, and one other thing before he left:
Jacobs had one final gift — a five-dollar bill. After all, he ended up signing with the 49ers, so it was only fair that the boy get his piggybank money back.
"He had some interest in there just for being a good kid," Jacobs said. "He's worth a lot more than that $5 bill I gave him."
A 49 percent ROI? Pretty sweet for a six-year-old. That'll buy a lot of Warheads.