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Bogota Police Captain Helps Special Olympian Meet Eli Manning

Eli and Special Olympian John Manning (no relation)
Eli and Special Olympian John Manning (no relation) Photo Credit: COURTESY: James Sepp
Eli with John and his parents
Eli with John and his parents Photo Credit: COURTESY: James Sepp
Thanks to a Bogota police captain, a Special Olympian with a special name got to meet Giants quarterback Eli Manning -- and will be cheering from the stands when Big Blue plays the Vikings Monday night in Minnesota.
Thanks to a Bogota police captain, a Special Olympian with a special name got to meet Giants quarterback Eli Manning -- and will be cheering from the stands when Big Blue plays the Vikings Monday night in Minnesota. Video Credit: Daily Voice Bergen County

BOGOTA, N.J. -- Thanks in part to a Bogota police captain, a Special Olympian with a special name got to meet Giants quarterback Eli Manning -- and will be cheering from the stands when Big Blue plays the Vikings Monday night in Minnesota.

It began this summer when Capt. James Sepp got a call from Officer John Cole, who works with the Special Olympics program in South Dakota -- the same as Sepp does here in New Jersey.

Cole had come across John Manning, a special needs student who had always wanted to meet namesakes Eli and Peyton Manning.

As an infant, John sustained permanent brain damage and intellectual impairment after a reaction to medicine.

Cole called Sepp, knowing that he could contact Giants player Adam Gettis, a huge supporter of New Jersey Special Olympics.

Sepp arranged to have John's mother ship his jersey to be secretly shipped to New Jersey , where Eli signed it before the captain shipped it back.

Gettis and the Giants didn't stop there, though. They sent the family tickets to Monday night's game in Minneapolis.

John's parents drove five hours on Sunday to an area hotel, where Eli surprised their son with a visit ( see video, above ).

"John was totally amazed. He was so happy," Sepp said. "They spent some time talking and taking pictures.

"Then Eli had to get back to a team meeting."

"Adam and Eli have huge hearts. They're always looking to pay it forward," Sepp said.

"With some of these players today trying to 'make statements,' with all this kneeling and whatever else they're trying to prove -- THIS is truly a statement," he said.

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