Emotions ran high in MetLife Stadium on Monday night.
Before the prime-time kickoff between the New York Giants and the Indianapolis Colts, Grammy Award-winning trumpeter Chris Botti performed a stirring rendition of the national anthem, bringing one player to tears on the sideline.
With a United States-shaped flag unfurled across the field, the instrumental overcame Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne, who is in the middle of his 14th NFL season.
"I've been fighting some injuries and I've been busting my hump to get out there," the six-time Pro Bowl selection told ESPN. "Just being able to defeat some odds, whatever those odds were, to be out there with my teammates. You get emotional. An old wise guy told me you shouldn't hold back your tears; if you have tears coming, let them out. Tonight was the night with the tears."
Wayne added: "It finally caught me. I've kind of hid it other games. I'm truly blessed, 14 years and still here, playing a kids' game. I've dreamed of playing in the NFL since I was seven years old and I'm still playing. It's a prime-time game, the bright lights, great teammates, great coaching staff and great organization. It couldn't get any better than this. Each game, it hits me. You never know when it's going to be your last one. Your life expectancy is three and a half years. Fourteen years for me. I've done beat that. I'm just blessed to be out there each game giving everything you've got. I just want to lay it on the field."