January 25, 2010 in Sports

Haitians on Garcon’s mind

Colts receiver’s big day honors nation
Associated Press
 

INDIANAPOLIS – Pierre Garcon celebrated the biggest day of his NFL career by honoring his Haitian relatives.

The Colts receiver, whose parents emigrated to the U.S. from the earthquake-ravaged nation, spent most of last week concerned about the fate of his family and friends still living in Haiti.

On Sunday, after the Colts’ 30-17 victory over the New York Jets in the AFC championship, he raised the national flag for the second straight week, a sign of both gratitude for those who have helped in the relief effort and in recognition of what more still needs to be done.

“This is what it’s all about,” Garcon said. “Just trying to do it for the country.”

Garcon also did it for his teammates.

He caught 11 passes for 153 yards, both career highs, and scored the go-ahead touchdown with a nifty twist and quick toe tap in the back corner of the end zone for a 4-yard TD.

For Garcon, it’s been an emotional few weeks.

Against Baltimore last week, he chased down Ed Reed after an interception and punched the ball out. Indy recovered, ending a possible Ravens scoring chance and erasing what could have been a game-changing moment.

Between games, Garcon spent the time watching news coverage of Haiti, talking to his mother, who was calling relatives and signing autographs for those who donated money to his own charitable foundation. He is planning to travel there in April to assist in the recovery.

Garcon, who was born in New York and attended high school in Florida, can now prepare for his own family reunion next week. He said his Florida relatives decided not to travel to Indy for the championship game, opting instead to wait until he could get back to warmer South Florida.

And it’s on that stage, the Super Bowl, that Garcon hopes to continue spreading the message about Haiti.

“It’s just bringing awareness to that because what’s going on over there is very tough,” he said. “Nobody should go through that, especially people who are less fortunate already. It’s just bringing awareness. Everybody’s been really showing their hands and helping us out, and I really do appreciate it.”

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