Veteran sports journalist Frank Deford was chairman of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in the late 80s when he first met Boomer Esiason, who had just led the Bengals to a Super Bowl appearance.
A few years later, shortly after being traded to the Jets, Esiason learned that his son, Gunnar, had cystic fibrosis. Deford, who had lost his daughter to cystic fibrosis, was the second person that Esiason called after getting the news.
HBO's Real Sports takes a look at this special relationship in its latest episode. It premiered Tuesday night, but there will be encore presentations through the first week of February. Here's a preview: