Oh sorry, wait…from all the radio ads I’m hearing of late, since I haven’t paid a licensing fee I guess I should just be calling it “The Big Game”. In any case, I am a football fan and I’m very lucky that my wife is as well (She’s a Bills fan and I’m a Steelers fan…go figure). We’re hosting the party for “The Big Game” this year, though to be honest most of the people coming seem to be more interested in playing a game a Battletech and seeing what lasts longer…a Battletech play session or the Pre-game shows. My money is on the pregame shows. *edit! oops…since I started writing this and paused, plans changed, not hosting now, driving to Pickering instead…what happens when you got to worry about nephews going to bed…remind me again why the Super Bowl is Sunday at 6:30pm??)
To the point though, there is a writer who covers the NFL that I read regularly, Peter King of Sports Illustrated. He does a regular wrapup report on the weekend events called Monday Morning Quarterback, and I admit its usually my breakfast reading to start the week. Earlier this year he reported on a former player for the New Orleans Saints and the changes that have hit his life. He’s now going to be doing a special report on the NBC pregame for the Super Bowl and I really hope I don’t miss out on it in amongst all the other pre-game silliness.
The player’s name is Steve Gleason, and if you don’t know his story, you should take a moment to read this: New Orleans Saints cult hero Steve Gleason battling ALS – New Orleans Saints Football NFL News – NOLA.com.
Now I give the Saints as an organization a lot of credit, with a certain jaded eye knowing full well that no sports team is truly full of unabashed heroes. The Saints do mean a lot to New Orleans in the post-Katrina period, and Gleason’s story is one that resonates with me, personally and I hope one that gets seen by many as being more important than the game to be played that day. He’s an athlete who played at the top of chosen sport, who was and is a hero to his city and has built in a life in that town. Then, he is diagnosed with ALS, Lou Gherig’s disease.
Now I am lucky, as this was one of the things I was tested for early on in the diagnosing stage back in 1999. While I am suffering from degeneration of my legs due to a spinal trauma (careful Jason no self-diagnosing here, that’s what second opinions are for), I am not looking at the issues Mr. Gleason and his family are facing down the road. That being said, from what I have seen so far, in stories, in his own twitter feed which I now follow, he and his family are handling the situation as well as any one can possibly expect one too. It’s funny, as often I have people tell me how “amazed” they are at how well I am handling it…but they don’t see the quiet private moments of raging against the world that really only my wife gets to “enjoy”. I am sure that Mr. Gleason and his family go through the same. Yet, they go on, and they try to inspire others.
Thus I look forward to Peter King’s story on the day of the “Big Game”. I’ll keep one eye on the broadcast prior while trying to my best to make Arthur roll double ones, and Matt remember that ramming is NOT the best tactic in Battletech. I’ll pause when that special story comes up and listen.
Because sometimes, no matter “how well you are handling it”, hearing another’s story, sharing that story and that inspiration, can help in little ways that add up.
So here’s to Super Bowl Sunday. A day when one gridiron hero will actually deserve that title.