Detroit Lions linebacker Alex Anzalone may share the most emotional and impactful hugs of his life following Sunday’s game in Tampa against the Buccaneers. His parents, who live in nearby Naples, Fla. plan on being at the game to watch their son play.
Sal and Judy Anzalone are free, back in the United States. They are free of the threats of Hamas, free of the threats of missiles raining over their heads, free of bomb shelters, free of angst and anxiety, free of never seeing home again.
They are back in the land of the free after an anxious filled trip to Israel where they were trapped in Jerusalem after war broke out between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas.
After the hug Alex can finally discover the real truth about his parent’s ordeal. They were jammed inside a hotel bob shelter and did not feel comfortable sharing all the details of their journey.
“You hear about stuff going on over there and you are not sure if their flight is cancelled or what’s really going on,” Anzalone said. What their plan B is. What their plan C is.”
The show must go on, however. Anzalone did not tell the team about his anxiety until after the Lions defeated the Carolina Panthers 42-24 on Sunday. He led the team with 11 tackles and played his usual understated self.
“There was nothing else I could do,” Alex Anzalone said. “I knew they would make the right decisions on getting home.”
Parents make it a habit to protect their children from bad news, no matter how old they are. Alex is certain his parents did the same. They maintained a calm demeanor although they were in harm’s way.
“They were making me mad,” Alex said. “I know they were hiding the truth. I know they were in a bunker a few times at the hotel. But they only told me that when they knew for sure they were getting out. I’m sure they’ll have some stories to tell.”
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Original Photo Credit: © Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK