Andrew Whitworth continually shows why he's awesome. He's been one of the best offensive linemen on the Bengals' roster for years as well as one of the most vocal leaders in the locker room, keeping the team on track through rebuilds, primetime struggles, and seemingly endless playoff losses. But, it's what he did for a group of teenagers a few weeks ago that now has everyone talking.
Big Whit was out having dinner at J. Alexander's in Norwood when he noticed a group of high school prom-goers eating before heading out to their big dance. On a whim, he decided to pick up the tab for the group.
The kids were thrilled that such a big star took an interest in them and took to Twitter to express their gratitude.
@BigWhit77_fndn just picked up our tab for our prom dinner!!! thanks bro!!! ✊— Josh (@Jdeaton_30) April 30, 2016
It was a thrill for the kids who not only got to meet Whitworth, but also had a chance to experience how great of a guy he is first hand. It takes a special kind of person to see a group of kids eating at an expensive restaurant and then just up and decide to pick up the check.
"He was walking up to his table and asked me if the kids were going to the prom," long time Whitworth fan and J. Alexander server Hailee Raffensperger told Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com. "I said, "Yeah,' and he said, ‘Give me all their checks. Just bring them over, but don't say anything."
It was quite the sight to see for Raffensperger, who has been a Whitworth fan for years, even going so far as to buy his jersey after seeing him on Youtube. However, this time she was simply a fan of him as a person due to his selfless actions in helping a group of kids just because he felt like it. It was also a great experience for Whitworth, who not only made the kids' day, but felt really good about the gesture himself.
"You see 20, 25 kids all eating together, I thought it was a prom, " Whitworth told Hobson. "Seeing all those kids dressed up, Lord, it brought back some memories."
He initially tried to pay the bill discreetly, without drawing attention to himself and just allowing the kids to enjoy the surprise without making a big spectacle about it. But, these were some sharp kids and they didn't have too much trouble figuring out who paid their bill.
"A lot of them came over said thank you," Whitworth said. "They were very appreciative. They tweeted it out and hit me up on social media. It's nice to be able to make a memorable moment even more memorable."