At this point in the offseason, we've seen several players take out full-page ads in the local paper to thank their teammates and the fans. It's always a touching, and appreciated, gesture.

Connor Barwin, the former Houston Texans linebacker who recently signed with the Philadelphia Eagles, made a similar gesture. Except his "thank yous" extend well beyond his team and the fans.

In the full-page ad, which appeared in the Houston Press and on Barwin's Facebook page, the 26-year-old had a lot to say. He paid the customary respects, to the city of Houston, his teammates, the fans and the team's owners.

Then things got interesting. Barwin went on to thank his delivery guy at Bombay Pizza (Tim), his cleaning lady (Vilma), the folks at the Edwards Greenway movie theatre for four years of free films, the Texans beat writers and more. Barwin even threw in a shout out to "bread" and "cheesecake." It's unclear if those are nicknames for people or if he's just very thankful for the foods themselves.

Kudos to Barwin for this personal ad. It would be easy to do nothing at all, or simply to write a short note, but Barwin went out of his way to thank lots of different people. And Barwin was only in Houston for four years. Imagine how long this would have been had he spent his entire career with the Texans.

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If nothing else, the amazing story of Iram Leon is one of perseverance.

The 32-year-old Leon was diagnosed with brain cancer in November 2010, and doctors hope he'll still be alive at age 40. Leon's brain tumor has forced him to make lots of adjustments. He can't drive, work or even play contact sports. But he can still run.

And so several months after the diagnosis of the Grade 2 diffuse astrocytoma, Leon decided that whenever he would go out for a jog, he would push his 4-year-old daughter, Kiana, in a stroller in front of him.

Before long the duo was registering for official runs, and during the past few months Iram and Kiana have completed several half marathons and 10Ks. For weeks they tried to register for a marathon, but Leon was turned down four times because strollers aren't normally allowed in the races. Finally, Leon got the acceptance he was looking for, from the Gusher Marathon in Beaumont, Texas, and he did not let the organizers down.

Leon won the race with a time of 3:07:35. Or as he would like to say, he finished second to his daughter, Kiana.

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After the race, Leon reflected on his experience on his blog.

"Turns out that maybe brain cancer, which has come with some nightmare scenarios, also has had some that are better than I could have ever dreamed," he wrote. "... At the Gusher Marathon, against the wind and up hill, with my princess and inspiration a step ahead of me, I ran on a highway even if I'm not allowed to drive on it."

For Iram and Kiana, the marathon was a much-needed break from the difficult reality of everyday life. Kiana has seen her father suffer seizures as a result of his condition, and they also practice a "911" drill at home.

But it's experiences like the Gusher Marathon, in addition to the runs the duo does when no one is around, that will allow Iram to say that he has no regrets.

"The one thing I'm not going to say on my death bed," Iram told the Huffington Post, "is, 'I wish I spent more time with my kid.'"

For more information on Leon, and to follow his journey, please see his blog.

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If you're a fourth-grade teacher looking to provide some encouragement to your students, creating a song with a Super Bowl champion and local hero definitely will not hurt your cause.

Chanel Williams, who teaches at Dogwood Elementary School outside of Baltimore, is the fiancee of Ravens star Torrey Smith, and she decided to do just that.

Williams' students were preparing for the Maryland School Assessment, so to help motivate them she wrote this creative song to the tune of "Teach Me How To Dougie."

The song includes lines like:

"If you don't understand a certain question / Think long and hard and reread the directions."

Overall it's very well done, and Smith plays his supporting role to perfection.

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"They love Torrey and my kids like rap and they’re motivated by music,” Williams told CBS Baltimore.

Apparently, Williams' class wasn't the only group to watch the video. It's received more than 30,000 views on YouTube.

(H/T to NESN)

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Reggie Wayne exuded maturity when he walked into the St. Regis Resort Ballroom on Saturday night. Accompanied by his family and holding one of his young sons, Wayne didn't look like a receiver who had caught 106 passes for 1,355 yards this past season. He looked like a regular dad.

The Athletes First Classic, a charity event hosted by David Dunn's powerhouse agency Athletes First, honored Wayne, the six-time Pro Bowler, and local philanthropist Stephanie Argyos, raising more than $1 million for the Orangewood Children's Foundation in the process.

With behemoths like Ray Lewis, Clay Matthews, Von Miller, Nate Solder and Terrence Cody in attendance, the thing that stood out most about Wayne was his relatively normal stature at 6-0 and 198 pounds. At 34, he's coming off one of his most prolific seasons, which made it fitting that the young quarterback who helped him bounce back, Andrew Luck, was the one to present Wayne with the award.

When asked to describe Wayne's game, many of his colleagues praised his consistency. Considering he's only had one season below 1,000 receiving yards since 2004 (two years ago when he caught for 960), Wayne's mastery of the wide receiver position continues to set the bar high for young receivers such as Ryan Broyles, Michael Floyd and USC standout Robert Woods, all of whom were in attendance.

Fox Sports' Jay Glazer served as Master of Ceremonies while veterans Matt Schaub and Chris Cooley, up-and-comers Doug Martin and Shane Vereen, as well as prospects Woods, TJ McDonald, and Mike Glennon, attended the gala in support of Irvine-based Athletes First's charity event.

"Our mission with Athletes First is that we put the athletes first," Athletes First president Brian Murphy said. "You're not just helping the athletes on the field, but as people. One way is to give back to the community, using your resources to make a difference in the world. We started the Classic to give back ... Charity is really high on our list and it's important to us. It's part of our joy to help."

The night was a rousing success, not only for the Orangewood Foundation, which will use the seven figures worth of donations to help Orange County-based children in the foster care system, but for Wayne as well.

Consistency often goes overlooked in professional sports, but for Wayne, the night was a toast to reliability. The future Hall-of-Famer won't let that go to his head though, as he's got bigger fish to fry. Like getting his team back to the playoffs and getting his kids to crash after a raucous night.

Here is what some of the attendees had to say when asked for a short and sweet description of Wayne.

Ryan Mallet: "Consistent. He's a playmaker."

Joseph Fauria: "Beast."

Mike Glennon: "I can't think of one word. When I think of Reggie Wayne, I just think of Peyton Manning throwing touchdowns to him."

Chris Cooley: "Dependable."

Robert Woods: "I've been studying him and Marvin Harrison on tape for a long time, and he's just a great route-runner, great hips, and someone I strive to be like in the NFL."

Nate Solder: "Dependable."

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Rony Seikaly, the former NBA center who has transitioned from swatting shots to blasting beats, will be headlining this year's Hearts & Stars Gala in Miami Beach sponsored by the Little Lighthouse Foundation.

The annual event, one of the largest charity functions in all of South Florida, will bring together more than 1,000 of Miami's movers and shakers for a good cause. This year the gala will take place at Terra Veritatis, the $40 million waterfront compound of the Bill Dean, CEO of the electrical contractor M.C. Dean.

When Aaron Resnick, one of the founders of the Little Lighthouse Foundation, got in touch with Seikaly, the 7-footer said he was happy to lend his support.

"I feel like I've been blessed," Seikaly told ThePostGame. "When you're blessed, you have to feel for others that are not as blessed as you are, especially when it comes to the kids who are suffering. Anything that anybody does to give back, it's what we're here for. If you've been given that blessing, then you need to come back and also help others and bless others, even if it's one day or one night or one hour or whatever it is."

Saturday’s gala isn't just any charity event. Resnick told ThePostGame that organizers anticipate it will be sold out, with around 1,200 people attending. A host of athletes are expected to be among the guests, including Baltimore Ravens tackle Bryant McKinnie, Carolina Panthers linebacker and Miami native Jon Beason, San Diego Chargers linebacker Shaun Phillips and Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Sidney Rice.

The weekend's theme is Casino de Monte Carlo, and the compound will be full of the finest food and drinks South Florida has to offer. Not to mention a luxurious 156-foot yacht.

"This is not sitting at a table, listening to a speaker, eating bad food," Resnick told ThePostGame. "It’s an experience in and of itself."

All proceeds from the event will go the Little Lighthouse Foundation, which works with South Florida organizations to support needy children. The Foundation, which was started by Resnick, Rob Sena, Charlie Venturi and Aracibo Quintana four years ago, has about 200 volunteers who do 12 days of community service a month.

Resnick says the Foundation is looking to double those numbers by the end of the year

"The idea is to truly improve our city," Resnick said, “by starting with the children."

Below is a video from last year's event:

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For more information about the Hearts & Stars Gala, see here.

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