Victorious

Most athletes think that if they win a certain game they are victorious.  If they win a Super Bowl, a World Series, a Stanley Cup, a World Cup, then they can say they are victorious.  Most people think that they are victorious if they achieve a certain place in life, job, money, success.  But for some, just living is to be victorious.  Mark Herzlich is one such person.

Herzlich announced today via his Twitter account that he will be playing this season for the NY Giants.  To some, that might seem to be a significant victory indeed and it is quite an accomplishment.  But to Herzlich, it is another step on the road of his life, which is the accomplishment.  His life.

You see Herzlich is not your ordinary football player.  No, he is a survivor.  A cancer survivor.  And not just any cancer, but a rare form of bone cancer known as Ewing’s sarcoma.  It generally affects children or young adults, usually in puberty.  Herzlich was diagnosed much later while in college at Boston College.

Herzlich went through 7 months of chemo and 5 weeks of radiation.  He now has a titanium rod that runs the length of his lower leg.  He missed the entire 2009 football season at Boston College.

But he is victorious.  He returned to the Boston College team in 2010 and started all 13 games for the Eagles. He had 65 tackles, forced two fumbles and intercepted four passes.  Victorious.

He went into this year’s NFL draft and no one took him.  Despite this, he was still victorious.  He waited through the lockout.  The day after the lockout was ended he was taken by the NY Giants.

Mark Herzlich will now get his chance to play in the NFL and no matter what happens, even if he wins a Super Bowl, he is already victorious.  Winning the Super Bowl is just a game.  Making millions of dollars is just money.  Living to play another day is victorious.

“Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory there is no survival.”  Congratulations Mr. Herzlich on being victorious.

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