Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Who Says You Can't Ignore Pain?

You have heard of it before. The story about the player who continues to play with pain. He doesn't feel the aching in his bones, nor the torture his body is taking, all he feels is the voice inside of him that tells him to keep going. No story about a football player playing with pain will ever be as powerful as the one that took place over 20 years ago.
He had over 150 career sacks and went to 7 Pro Bowls. He's a widely known defensive end who is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Though the most impressive thing about Jack Youngblood has nothing to do with any numbers or records.
During the Los Angeles Rams' heroic run to the 1980 Super Bowl, Youngblood suffered a broken fibula in the Divisional Playoffs. For most athletes, an injury like that would result in the end of a season. Jack Youngblood was not like most athletes. Even after injuring his fibula that day against Dallas, Jack insisted he could still play. "They carted me into a Texas Stadium locker room before halftime and did X-rays," said Youngblood, who now lives in Orlando and works for the Arena Football League. "I told our team doctor, "It's only a fibula. Just tape it up and let me get back on the field.' "( Jack's wish was granted, for the University of Florida graduate was sooner than later taped up and sent back out on the field. In fact, later that day the hobbled athlete recorded a sack on Cowboys' Roger Staubach. This legendary story of bravery and heart continued to carry on throughout the playoffs. In the following weeks (Conference Finals, Super Bowl XIV, and the Pro Bowl) Youngblood continued his expectional play on the field. Regardless of the injury his body had sustained, Jack Youngblood played each and every playoff game with all his might. It was painful to have lost Super Bowl XIV to the Pittsburgh Steelers, but all should know that it was nothing compared to what Youngblood had to deal with for 3 straight games. 'Nuff said...

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