NFL legend aids couple trying to get pregnant?

You’ve heard of couples naming their babies after sports stars. A Houston couple is taking that a step further. They hope to have a baby because of a sports star.

If that’s not enough, the sports star, Pro Football Hall of Famer Barry Sanders, reached out to help them in their struggle with fertility, according to KTRK-TV.

Todd and Ula Nelkin own a sports memorabilia shop in Southwest Houston and have suffered through two failed attempts at in vitro fertilization.

“I’ve had a pretty fantastic life and I want to pay that forward to be a father like my dad,” Todd Nelkin said.

IVF is an expensive procedure and the Nelkins know that with Ula being 42, adoption may be their future.

“It took a while for Todd and I to find each other,” Ula said.

The Nelkins are hoping to make one last attempt at having a biological child. To pay for it, they are auctioning off a one-of-a-kind football trading card.

The card features autographs of both Sanders and Walter Payton, two of the most prolific and legendary running backs in NFL history.

Because Payton died in 1999, there can never be another card made like it. The auction will take place later this month on eBay.

“We’re hoping to get $20,000,” Todd said.

Then out of the blue – Detroit Lions blue, presumably – Sanders himself reached out to the couple, first on Twitter and Facebook and then by telephone.

“I want the Nelkins to know that I am supportive in helping spread the word about their cause,” Sanders said in a statement to KTRK. “And since this one of a kind item cannot be replaced, I wanted to send them another signed card to have in its place.”

Needless to say, the Nelkins were floored.

“I was completely surprised,” Todd said. “I have no problem naming a son Barry.”

Follow Keith Whitmire on Twitter: @Keith_Whitmire