Friday, October 22, 2010

I Choose To Believe

Tomorrow the Rutgers University football team will play its first game since Eric LeGrand suffered a spinal cord injury. As of now, LeGrand's prognosis remains unknown. He has been paralyzed from the neck down since he was injured. While the world knows his present, it is his future that remains a mystery. Hope abounds. Definitive answers are hard to come by.

Answers are in short supply but good wishes are not. Mark Dionno had a terrific piece in yesterday's Star-Ledger on efforts being made on several fronts to support Eric LeGrand and his family. Steve Ostergren, the owner of Scarlet Fever on Somerset Street in New Brunswick, has received approval from the university to start manufacturing No. 52 T-shirts that will say Rutgers on the front and "Keep Chopping" on the back. According to Ostergen, all of the proceeds from the sale of the shirts will be given to whatever fund the University establishes for the LeGrand family.

As Dionno pointed out, Ostergen is not the only t-shirt designer going to bat for the LeGrand family. While the article did not disclose the child's name, apparently on scarletnation.com an 8 year old fan submitted. The design is a water color drawing of the words "Believe" with the letters "el" in black for LeGrand and the number 52. The article actually has a photo of the little one's t-shirt design, which is simply terrific. I know that at age 8 I could not have produced anything as cool. In her kitchen in Florida, Mom has the hotplate I made for her when I was in second grade. Not evn close.

And kudos to the University of Pittsburgh. Rutgers plays at Pitt tomorrow. The Pitt community has responded to LeGrand's injury by voicing its support for him, for Coach Schiano and for his teammates. In doing so, Panthers coach Dave Wannstedt and his players have reminded one and all that some things transcend wins and losses. That is not to say that the Panthers and the Knights will not get after each other full throttle tomorrow but just to say that the kids on both teams and the men who coach them appear to have their heads on straight and a laudable sense of perspective.

Providing all of us with a reason to believe if we choose to. Count me in.

-AK

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