Why Humans of New York is so beloved: A writer for Sports Illustrated sees a photo of an anonymous construction worker who was once a “Defensive Player of the Year.” He goes searching for the person:

The picture of Mr. Defensive Player of the Year sparked varied, frenzied, often contradictory reactions. Some saw work ethic; others laziness. Some saw certain retired NFL players. Some saw a fallen, humbled star; others, a depressed, older man; still others, a proud husband or father, a provider, a man who made the most of whatever happened to him.

“His hands and his boots look rough, worn and used. My husbands hands and boots look the same way. I know how physically hard you have to work to accomplish that. Back breaking, knuckle busting. Day after day.”

“ … then I tore my ACL.”

“This looks like my cousin!”

“Love the composition – a football player on the bench.”

From one photo, all of that.