TEMPLE, Ariz. — When Missy Murray looks at her son Kyler, she doesn’t just see a 23-year-old quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals, or a boy who wanted to play Uno after big wins, or a kid who painted his toys.
She sees her father, Sergeant Carl Henderson Jr…
Kyler never met his grandfather, who died in 1989 after spending more than 35 years in the Navy and Army, but Missy preserved Henderson’s legacy with stories and memories – many of them – of seeing his father in Kyler.
Kyler looks so much like my dad that sometimes I do 360s because he says things like my dad, he says things like my dad, Missy said.
I’m blown away when I tell Kyler: You’re not my dad. He talks the way he talks, his personality, it’s unbelievable.
On Sunday against Los Angeles, Rams Kyler honored his grandfather with a pair of custom-made Nike boots in support of Call of Duty Endowment, a charity created by the popular video game that helps veterans get quality jobs after serving in the army – during the game My Cause, My Boots in Arizona. These boots, designed by Dominic Siambron, the shoe surgeon claims to have honoured Henderson’s war years by painting them in various shades of purple, including purple camouflage, in recognition of the Purple Heart awarded to Henderson.
The shoes also formed the link between the grandson, his mother and grandfather.
On the back of his left shoe is his best friend, and on the back of his right shoe is his grandfather’s Korean wink to Missy’s Korean ancestry – his mother was Korean, making Kyler a quarter Korean – and to the mother-son band.
Fault! The file name is not specified. Kyler Murray and his mother Missy unbuttoned Murray’s custom made Call of Duty Endowment boots thanks to Dominic Siambron, a.k.a. shoe surgeon. Purple Heart is the representative of the Purple Heart Grandpa Murray deserves. cobbler
I’m just trying to sniff out everything she tells me about him, Kyler. Of course we don’t talk about him and everything else every day, but if she sees something in me that he says or does, she always lets me know.
And there’s a lot of things Kyler does to remind missy of her father.
It brings together behavior, attitude to life, passion for board games, commitment to self-discipline, thirst for knowledge and presence of mind to think before acting.
She says we’re all one, Kyler. She said he and I were anal. Like things in a way. Very strict on certain points. I’m not as strict as him, he’s obviously a parent with two daughters, I can only imagine.
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Missy described Kyler as an undercover nerd, a trait he inherited from his grandfather.
When Missy was about 6 and 7 years old, she played Scrabble twice a week with her father, who made it a learning tool. He played with words his children had never heard of – especially three-letter words – and challenged them to read him the definitions.
My father wanted to learn new words, read, just be smart, eloquent and clear, Missy said. I think it’s passed down from generation to generation, because when you look at Kyler in a job interview, you think he’s been doing it all his life. I hate that he’s so quiet. But that’s because he thinks before he speaks.
Like his grandfather, Kyler loves board games. Always, especially at chess. When he returned from his great victories when he was younger, it took Kyler about half an hour to recover from the excitement and ask his mother to play Uno.
I like doing things like this, Kyler said. You don’t often see children playing board games and stuff like that.
Kyler’s always had a balance, Missy. It never rises too high or too low. He also inherited his grandfather’s military discipline, both in football and in the way he could stand outside the field. He was always careful when it came to following instructions, but he also gave instructions like the drill sergeant, Missy said.
Fault! The file name is not specified. On the back of the left shoe is best friend, and on the back of the right shoe is grandfather, both in Korean @thehoesurgeon
And Kyler’s very focused on details, Missy said. When he was a kid he used to color his toys, and when he grew up he painted everything, she says.
I keep telling people my dad was a perfectionist, Missy said. I don’t know if my brother and I passed the bar exam, but if he were still alive, Kyler would be the prototype of a child that my father would raise because he’s doing the right thing. He’s never leaving. He’s going to the right.
And just like his grandfather, who went through the family encyclopedia to prove his point or show his children where he came from, Kyler does his research.
Khen, his parents started giving Kyler’s dog Swoosh turkey after Thanksgiving, Kyler Googled when the dog was safe.
All he does is set the rules and make sure the dog follows his orders, and I just snapped, Missy says. He has such discipline that he even wants the dog to do the right thing.
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These are the things that crush me and remind me of my father all the time – the disciplinary officer who gives us orders and follows T’s instructions.
It made him what he is.
This has made him one of the most exciting players in the NFL, which has several advantages. Murray and his father called the boots Kyler wore on Sunday the worst they’d ever seen.
Henderson wasn’t a football fan until he and his family moved to Texas in the 1970s. Then he became a crazy Dallas Cowboys fan, Missy said. Today, he would be a cardinal fan if he was still around and could see his grandson become one of the most dynamic players in the NFL.
When Kyler first saw the boots in the kitchen of his Scottsdale apartment last Tuesday, he was quiet for a moment.
Hell, he said before there was a smile on his face.
While Kyler held her in his arms, turned her over, looked at every structure and captured every detail, Missy remembered a different memory: It was his grandfather’s birthday.
He’d be 100 years old.
She was my best friend, I wanted to do it for her, Kyler was talking about her mother. I wish I could have met him, but she says we’re so much alike that I think it’s appropriate – to represent him, to honor him.
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