Brandin Cooks surprised Rams janitor with Super Bowl tickets

ATLANTA — Like all players participating in the Super Bowl, Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Brandin Cooks has been crushed with ticket demands from friends, families and even light acquaintances.

“Had to say no to a lot of people,” Cooks said.

Yet he made sure to save two tickets for someone he deemed so inspiring that he wanted to honor him with a gift.

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The Rams locker room janitor.

“The guy is special,” Cooks said here Tuesday. “He keeps our locker room in tip-top shape. He has a special soul. He’s someone I just found myself drawn to when I got there. I see him around the facility all the time.”

The janitor’s name is Alfonso. The team is not releasing his last name citing privacy issues. Cooks, who is in his first year with the team after playing for, coincidentally, the Rams opponent Sunday, the New England Patriots, only knows him as a particularly diligent person and an upbeat personality.

The two aren’t especially close. Cooks doesn’t know Alfonso’s last name.

Yet when the Rams won the NFC championship, Cooks wanted to find a way to say thank you for all Alfonso does. So he offered two tickets to the game plus all travel expenses for Alfonso and his son Josh to come to Atlanta for the big game.

While some might see Cooks as a high-profile player and Alfonso as a humble janitor, Cooks considers them equals, just a couple of co-workers in an organization doing great things.

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Rams, Patriots arrive in Atlanta for Super Bowl LIII
Los Angeles Rams' Nickell Robey-Coleman arrive sat the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport for the NFL Super Bowl 53 football game Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Los Angeles Rams' Jared Goff gets off the team charter as they arrive at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport for the NFL Super Bowl 53 football game Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Los Angeles Rams' Ndamukong Suh arrives at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport for the NFL Super Bowl 53 football game Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
New England Patriots' Tom Brady arrives at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport for the NFL Super Bowl 53 football game Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
New England Patriots' Devin McCourty, front, and brother Jason McCourty arrive at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport for the NFL Super Bowl 53 football game Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
New England Patriots' Kyle Van Noy arrives at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport for the NFL Super Bowl 53 football game Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
New England Patriots' Stephon Gilmore, front, arrives at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport for the NFL Super Bowl 53 football game Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Jan 27, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New England Patriots running back James White (28) arrives at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 27, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New England Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski (3) arrives at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 27, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Fans watch on the street corner as the New England Patriots arrive at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 27, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; General view of Super Bowl LIII signage near the Hyatt Regency Atlanta. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
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“I just thought it would be special for him to understand this is a team and he’s a part of that as well,” Cooks said. “And I wanted to make sure he is at the Super Bowl with his son to enjoy it. … I am flying him in, he’s got a hotel, he’s going to be set for the whole weekend.”

The individual gesture also speaks to the larger culture coach Sean McVay has built in L.A. There is an uncommon camaraderie within the club. The players say it shows on the field. And even a newcomer like Cooks is a leader, not just through rah-rah speeches, or his deep faith that inspires others, but the simple gestures.

“I walked by and happened to see that encounter,” wide receiver Robert Woods said of Cooks informing Alfonso about the Super Bowl trip. “That’s the type of person and teammate that he is. He’s just someone who you want as a teammate, you want as a friend.”

That’s apparently true whether you’re a fellow wideout or the guy cleaning the locker room.

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