Tim Twentyman / The Detroit News
Detroit — Tuesday was supposed be a routine day for 13-year-old Lamon Richardson at Detroit Children’s Hospital. Lamon expected to just get his annual checkup and be on his way.
But Lamon and his younger brother Laron, 11, ended up grooving to a Michael Jackson tune with one of the most intimidating defensive linemen in the NFL.
“I think he’s pretty good,” Lamon said, eying the competition. “But he can’t beat me.”
The children were two of more than a dozen patients Lions rookie tackle Ndamukong Suh gave a surprise visit to and entertained with a dance-off to “Bad,” one of the King of Pop’s hit songs.
Suh, all 6-foot-4 and 304 pounds of him, had no problem literally jumping right into the new Michael Jackson “The Experience” video game for the Nintendo Wii.
When it comes to kids and a good cause, Suh claims he hast no problem getting out of his comfort zone.
“Giving back and having an opportunity to join in somebody else’s life that might be going through something tough,” Suh said of the visit’s purpose. “It brings joy to me because I know I would have definitely enjoyed it if somebody would have came and saw me when I was in the hospital.”
As for the actual dance-off, Suh admitted he had stiff competition. A productive NFL rookie season of 55 tackles, 8 sacks, and in 14 games didn’t appear to matter to a crowd that watched him groove.
“The video game allows players to dance to a variety of songs from Jackson’s catalogue including as “Beat It” and “Thriller,” and gives tips on how to master his dance routines.
A spontaneous visit from an NFL star definitely brightened 7-year-old Brook Madera’s day. She went to the hospital to see a gastrointestinal specialist and left enamored with the Suh’s presence.
“It was fun because I’ve never gotten to meet a football player before,” said Brook said. “He’s big. I’m a big fan now.”
Suh was at the hospital to support the “Experience the Glove” campaign that helps children around the world. He autographed a replica of Jackson’s famous glove that will be auctioned off on CharityBuzz.com. Proceeds will benefit the hospital.
Suh said he’s a big fan of Jackson’s music — “Bad” is his favorite — and suggested he could unveil a few MJ moves on the field, too, if he gets a chance.
“I have to take care of business first,” he said of his play. “After I take care of business I can possibly pull out an MJ move.”
Suh got some practice in two weeks ago during a segment of ESPN’s SportsCenter. He wore a Jackson replica glove and performed the moonwalk after a bit of nudging from the show’s anchors.
“You kind of just have to have the moves,” he said, laughing, about his video game skills.
During the visit, Suh revealed one Christmas wish: “I’d definitely like to win out these last couple games. Santa can always bring some wishes to us.”