updated 06/21/2012 AT 12:00 PM ET
•originally published 06/21/2012 AT 1:30 PM ET
When 6-year-old New York Giants fan Joseph Armento sent running back Brandon Jacobs his money – $3.36 – in an effort to keep him on the team earlier this month, the NFL star vowed to pay him back.
Jacobs made good on that promise Wednesday with something worth much more than the contents of the Armento’s piggybank.
The running back, 29, who signed with the San Francisco 49ers in March, took the young fan and his 4-year-old brother Nick on the ultimate thank-you outing to the Jump On It bounce house gym in Boonton, N.J, Wednesday.
“He told me he really wanted to get out there with the kids,” their mother, Julie Armento, told The Sacramento Bee. Added Armento, who sent Jacobs the letter with the contents of Joe’s piggy bank: “It was amazing.”
In town this week after his move to the Bay Area, the NFL star rented out the space for the Armento kids and his 5-year-old son, Brayden, for an afternoon on the inflatable slides.
“It was just us in the whole place, and we were just going room to room – just bouncing and flipping all over the place, hitting each other with balls, sweating, our shirts filthy,” Jacobs said. “We were just dirty, stinky boys, you know?”
He added on Twitter: “I had so much fun with them.”
But that’s not all Joe got for his sweet gesture. Jacobs also gave him a signed Giants football helmet with the words “thanks for being a fan.” And because he ultimately became a 49er, Jacobs gave the young fan back his $3.36 investment and then some – $5 – because “he had some interest in there just for being a good kid.”
“I’m at a point in my career when people have stopped believing in me and not believing I can still play,” he added to The Bee. “Joe believes in me, gave me a lot of confidence and a lot of want-to.”
“I’m ready to go,” he continued. “I can’t wait until the season starts.”