I am going to take advantage of being the ruler of this blog page and go off topic to draw your attention to this story I have been following for a little over a year now.
There is a young man in New Jersey, who, as a member of the Rutgers University Football Team experienced his own disaster on the field of play last year during a football game against Army. As a father of a Rutgers graduate and a season ticket holder to their football games for 10 years prior to moving out west, I have become an ardent Rutgers Football fan. I was watching that game on my computer through ESPN3 and immediately recognized that the injury this young man experienced was not good. My wife heard me yelling from the other room that this was bad.
While participating on the kickoff coverage team, Eric LeGrand made a hit and tackle on the Army return man and immediately fell to the field in such a way that you could tell was not your typical injury. Eric suffered a severe spinal injury and was left paralyzed from the neck down.
Without going into the story in any more detail I just wish to relay that on Saturday afternoon, this young man will be leading his team out on the field for a football game against West Virginia. Eric is not fully recovered but his strength in body and spirit, his drive and his ability to adapt are helping this young man make great strides in his recovery.
I know there are those of you who read my blog silently. It’s fine that you do not post comments, but I think it would be real cool if you just posted a comment to this one saying, “Way to go Eric”, or something of the kind to show your recognition of the struggle and valor that this young athlete has undertaken and shown. Just click on the “No Comments” or “X Comments” field to add your acknowledgement.
The day after witnessing that play on my PC, I wrote the following poem in honor of Eric. I am sorry I will not be able to see him roll out on the field in person and one day I hope to see him actually walk out on that field. I bELieve.
A GALLANT KNIGHT
The scarlet warrior with foe in sight,
Stops the advance with all his might.
First, a roar of great celebration;
Then a silencing of the elation.
Prideful eyes from thousands of fans,
Watch attentively with folded hands.
On the ground lies one of their own;
A knight fighting gallantly for his home.
From the banks of the ole Raritan,
Prayers and thoughts for Eric LeGrand.
Representing his school and his state;
Of his courage and valor there’s no debate.
Playing a game he dearly loves;
Blessed with ability given from above.
Now relies on his inner strength,
And all our support to every length.
I only know Eric as a Rutgers’ fan,
But some day would like to shake his hand,
And on that day when he retakes the field,
On my knees, to God, I’ll give thanks and kneel.