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At about 2 or 2 1/2 , after watching his dad shoot hoops in the backyard, Matthew could dribble a basketball with his fingertips -- with either hand.
At about 4 1/2 or 5, Matthew was sitting in a big chair with his dad, watching pro football on television. A sweep to the left failed when the ballcarrier was tackled behind the line of scrimmage. Matthew turned his head and said: "The tackle didn't pull." Seconds later, John Madden made the same analysis.
In fourth grade, Matthew was into soccer. He was playing an indoor game when the ball bounced into the air near the goal. He jumped up, executed a bicycle kick and put the ball into the corner of the goal.
"He'd just seen it on TV," John said. "He'd never done it before, and he's never afraid. It's just like, 'This is the place to do it.' "