Former Minnesota Vikings safety Anthony Harris went out of his way to make a young fan’s dream come true.
Texas native Audrey Soape, 11, lost her father and grandfather last year. Soape has been a fan of Harris from his days with the Vikings and showed continued support for the veteran safety when he joined the Philadelphia Eagles in 2021.
So, approaching a daddy-daughter dance at Soape’s middle school, her mother Holly reached out to Harris to see if he would escort her.
Holly knew it wasn’t a guarantee. The Eagles had made the NFL postseason and potentially could still be in the playoff picture past the day of the dance.
But once the Tampa Bay Buccaneers knocked Philadelphia from the playoffs, Harris didn’t think twice, making Audrey’s dream happen.
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‘It Was Just a Fairy Tale’
Once Harris confirmed he could take Audrey to the dance, one of his representatives reached out to Holly and helped her take care of all the preparation for the big day.
Harris took care of all the expenses, paying for Audrey’s dress, shoes and makeup (scroll through images of the night Vember Photo’s Instagram post below).
Despite the preparations made, Audrey, meeting her NFL idol, admittedly was nervous.
“He was very nice,” she said, per CBS 3 Philly. “When I was super nervous, he made it feel like less nervous to be around him, and it was really fun. And as the night went along, it got a lot more less awkward.”
Holly seconded Harris’ calming presence as he was a full participant in the night’s activity, going above and beyond the photo ops.
“Every time I think he could see she was getting nervous, he would just engage in conversion with her,” Holly said, per CBS 3 Philly. “He kept her laughing, he kept her dancing on the dance floor, they ran around the church doing a scavenger hunt, just playing games, really made the whole night just really incredible for her because you could tell she was very nervous to start with. But she warmed up right away, he made it great for her.
“He was so kind and so sweet and just made the entire night absolutely magical for her,” Holly added. “All of it was just a fairy tale and amazing.”
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Even before the Soape family’s recent tragedies, they had connected with Harris over social media, showing support throughout his career.
Harris, undrafted in 2015, worked his way up the Vikings depth chart after being a training camp cut his rookie season. He developed from a practice-squad player to backup safety before becoming a full-time starter in 2019. Harris reached free agency after his contract expired last offseason, leading to him signing a one-year, $5 million deal with the Eagles.
“(They were) asking if I need any prayers through transitions. It was really just them opening their arms and following my career that I decided that, ‘Hey, let me just take a bit of notice on what’s going on,” Harris told NBC 10. “Just trying to be a human … Trying to take off the helmet, trying to take off the cape of what I do professionally and just show some sympathy for that family and try to show some support there.”
Born in Minnesota, Holly’s Vikings fandom led toward the family’s support of Harris. A free agent this offseason, Harris, wherever he lands, will have support from the Soape family.
“You got to cherish these moments,” Harris said. “You never know how long we have on this earth. The people you care about — the people you love — show support for them.”