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Kid sports reporter wins the hearts of NFL players and fans

Jeremiah Fennell, kid reporter

Ethan Miller / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP | Background: Shutterstock

John Touhey - published on 02/09/24

Diagnosed with multiple health problems in utero, Jeremiah Fennel was a ‘miracle baby.’ Now the 11-year-old is wowing everyone with his reporting talents.

The days leading up to the Super Bowl have become a major event in their own right. Some of America’s most celebrated athletes and entertainers have gathered in Las Vegas in the leadup to the big game. But when players for the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers sat down for media interviews on Monday, the biggest attention-getter was not Patrick Mahomes or Christian McCaffrey, but an 11-year-old sports journalist, Jeremiah Fennel.

Players at these sessions are used to reporters repeating the same boilerplate questions, but Jeremy caught them off guard with his friendly, confident demeanor and football savvy. The 49ers George Kittle couldn’t hold back how impressed he was:

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Fans were blown away, too. After watching Jeremiah’s interview with Patrick Mahomes, @iamheatheranne commented: “I love this kid. I could watch him interview people all night!” And @williamhastie5056 said, “I had a big smile on my face all the way through watching this.”

“Miracle baby”

 Jeremiah Fennel’s story is even more amazing when you learn that he was a “miracle baby.” While she was pregnant, specialists told Jeremiah’s mom and dad that he “might be born either prematurely of might even be stillborn.” According to his website bio:

It was discovered during an amniocentesis that he was missing a gland in his brain (Septum Pellucidum). It was also discovered during several doctors’ appointments, ultrasounds, and multiple panels of bloodwork that Jeremiah had a detached right clavicle, other brain abnormalities and a possible lack of the ability to hear. He was breached during the entire 30-week pregnancy and was born via Cesarean surgery.

His parents, fortunately, had faith that their baby was special to God. The website features this quote from Jeremiah’s namesake:

“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you; before you were born, I set you apart; and I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5)

A love for football

Still, Jeremiah’s early years were filled with challenges. Since doctors feared he might lose his hearing, Jeremiah was first taught to communicate in American Sign Language (ASL). He also received speech, occupational, and physical therapy. Jeremiah’s exceptional intelligence soon became apparent, but it wasn’t until he started watching football on TV at the age of 2½ that his exuberant personality fully emerged. Per the bio on Jeremiah’s website: “His face would light up and he would commentate play-by-play while watching the Raiders games on TV.”

The youngster started doing game commentary to the TV and pretended to conduct interviews. He took the work very seriously, as he explained outside this year’s NFL Honors awards: “I couldn’t play sports because I had some medical issues, so at 7 years old I decided to get into the journalism field and start honing my craft.”

A standout on the sidelines

The public began noticing that Jeremiah was special when he got the opportunity to interview Raiders’ receiver Davante Adams on the sidelines last season. The NFL Network was so impressed that they invited Jeremiah to participate in their Super Bowl coverage this week. It was a popular decision and now the only question is when will producers offer this miracle kid a fulltime gig?

Tags:
ChildrenInspiring storiesSports
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