Arizona Cardinals linebacker Jesse Luketa faced one of his worst setbacks when a flat tire delayed his arrival at State Farm Stadium for Sunday’s game. Despite leaving the team hotel with ample time, Luketa found himself stranded at a North Phoenix gas station.
He had pulled over when his 2019 BMW’s indicator light came on due to a persistent drop in pressure in the front left tire. Despite attempting to address the issue by adding air, Luketa suspected a nail puncture.
With no spare tires available in his BMW, the team offered to pick him up, but Luketa declined, realizing he wouldn’t reach the stadium in time, according to kiro7.
In a stroke of luck, the Arizona Cardinals linebacker spotted J.W. Phillips and his family, all donned in Cardinals gear, at a gas station. Luketa, hoping they were headed to the game, approached Phillips for a lift to the stadium due to his flat tire.
Phillips, on his way to watch his son play flag football at halftime, agreed to help Luketa, despite the accidental timing. Luketa informed Phillips of his situation, and they proceeded to the stadium together.
During the 45-minute drive, they engaged in friendly conversation, discussing topics such as Thanksgiving, fantasy football updates, Luketa’s college experience, his Canadian background, and details about his family.
Phillips described Luketa as the nicest human being and noted that he had a genuine and sincere demeanor. Luketa, known on X (formerly Twitter) as @OttawasVeryOwn, is a native of Ottawa but attended Mercyhurst Prep in Erie, Pennsylvania, before studying criminology at Penn State. He was drafted 256th overall in the 2022 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals.
Following the day’s events, Luketa shared details in a post-game press conference on Monday and took to social media to express his gratitude, declaring, “Good people still exist!”
Luketa, aided by the Phillips family, reached the stadium with just eight minutes to spare. Expressing gratitude, Luketa gave them his parking pass and facilitated “friends and family access.”
Following the Cardinals’ loss to the Los Angeles Rams, the family met up with Luketa, capturing a photo together. Phillips emphasized their intent to assist, stating it was about helping someone rather than his football status.
Luketa expressed his intention to secure tickets for them to attend the Cardinals’ December 17 game against the San Francisco 49ers.