Seven year-old Perris youngster Joseph Perez made national news when, as an elementary school reporter, he brought superstar quarterback Tom Brady to tears by asking the former University of Michigan great who he considered his hero.
For Joseph, the chance to attend a Super Bowl press conference represented what he thought was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity on the world’s stage. Joseph’s appearance was sponsored by the sport trading card company Panini America and the little guy scored big by eliciting from Brady that the future Hall of Famer’s hero is his dad.
“That’s a great question,” Brady replied to Joseph’s inquiry. “My dad is my hero. He’s someone I look up to every day.”
The exchange brought Joseph national recognition and acclaim, Yahoo! Sports, ESPN, CBS, Us Magazine, People.com and the Houston Chronicle were among the outlets reporting Joseph’s question and Brady’s response.
Joseph’s media career is getting a sequel.
The second-grader and his parents learned from Perris Mayor Michael Vargas that the budding journalist has been invited to attend an upcoming photo shoot of the top NFL-rookies in Los Angeles, sponsored by the trading card company.
Vargas broke the news to Joseph, his parents, grandparents and great-grandmother during the Feb. 28 City Council meeting.
The Mayor informed the family that Panini has invited Joseph “to the NFLPA (NFL Players Association) Rookie Premiere and Panini Photo Shoot… to interview the top 2017 NFL Rookies as they get photographed in their NFL uniforms for their first Panini NFL trading cards.”
Joseph is the first Kid Reporter to be honored with a follow-up assignment to meet pro-football’s best newcomers.
“Have fun in Los Angeles,” Vargas said. “Congratulations.”
In remarks following the meeting, Vargas praised Joseph and his family.
“What a great young man and a great family,” Vargas said after the meeting. “It was so nice to see the expression on his face—he was glowing. It’s nice to recognize good things in kids.”
Joseph and his family were elated.
“I’m speechless,” said mom Jessica Perez. “I can’t believe it.”
Joseph attends Cornerstone Christian School in Wildomar, where he is a second-grader. His favorite subject is physical education. His favorite players—retired Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman and Pro-Bowl receiver Dez Bryant, both Dallas Cowboys. He may have gained fame for quizzing Tom Brady but Joseph would have preferred that the Atlanta Falcons triumph in Super Bowl 51.
He said he is looking forward to meeting the latest batch of NFL rookies in Los Angeles following the annual draft next month. He said he appreciated the shout-out from Perris.