Local hunting guide and outfitter Ty Goodman experienced the thrill of a lifetime two weeks ago when the clients he was to take on an outdoor excursion turned out to be former professional football great Frank Gifford and his 12-year-old son, Cody.
"I met them at Rye about 7 (a.m.) and when I saw who it was, I about fell over," Goodman said. "I asked if he was the real Frank Gifford and he said yes."
According to Goodman, Gifford and his son were in Scottsdale participating in a charity event.
"Cody is really into the outdoors and his dad wanted to spend the day with him in the Mazatzal," Goodman said.
The link between Goodman and the Giffords turned out to be a wealthy client the local guide had taken on an elk hunt last fall.
"He called me and asked if I could take some of his friends out glassing," Goodman said. "I told him I would be glad to, but I didn't have any idea it would be Frank Gifford."
Goodman said he wasn't told who the clients were because the Giffords wanted a private outing without any publicity.
After picking up the Giffords in Rye, Goodman guided the pair through much of the Mazatzal wilderness area searching for wildlife.
"We spotted some deer and javelina and I gave Cody glassing lessons," Goodman said.
Also during the day, Goodman quizzed the 72-year-old Gifford about his playing days with the New York Giants.
"We talked a lot about football and he showed me his Hall of Fame ring," Goodman said. "We had a blast."
At the conclusion of the day-long outing, the Giffords agreed they'd like to return to Arizona next fall for a guided hunt, Goodman said.
"I'm going to put in for big-game tags for them," Goodman said. "Hopefully, they'll get one."