I’m sure there’s something else besides football that I care
about less, but I just can’t think of
it at the moment. Oh, wait, I know — college football. And hockey.
Yep, much to my husband’s dismay, I just don’t get it.
Nothing about football appeals to me. Not the tailgating, stadium cheese, Super
Bowl commercials and least of all the actual game. Never, ever has watching
grown men in tight pants crack helmets held my interest, and at times it even
bears the brunt of my wrath with all the time it sucks from the weekends.
All of a sudden, though, I’m a big Cincinnati Bengals Fan.
I’m not jumping on their bandwagon because they’re a good
team. (Are they? I don’t even know.) I’m not cheering for them, either, because
they’re lovable losers. (Again, if their record is 0-500, I’m not the one to
ask). No, it’s because defensive tackle Devon Still wears a Bengals jersey.
Still was actually cut from the 53-man team last weekend
when it was determined he no could no longer dedicate 100 percent to the game. He
didn’t get tripped up by a partying lifestyle or suddenly find that he
preferred God to pigskin, however. It’s due to the fact that he learned in June
that his 4-year-old daughter, Leah, has Stage 4 pediatric cancer — so his
focus understandably wandered off the field.
It gives you the warm and fuzzies knowing there are human beings underneath all of the dollar signs, bright lights and bottom lines.
“My whole world turned upside down,” Still said to ABC
Last week Leah started her fourth round of chemotherapy and
Still said she’s prepared to do battle.
By cutting him from the roster but re-signing him to the
practice squad, the Bengals have allowed Still to continue receiving health
insurance through the NFL to pay for his daughter’s treatment — which will run
north of seven figures — plus draw a healthy $6,300 week salary, and travel
less so he can spend more time with his family. Re-signing him was an even
lovelier gesture when you consider he missed six games last season due to back
and elbow injuries.
“[The Bengals] could have washed their hands with me and
said they didn’t care about what I was going through off the field,” he said.
“It’s like a blessing in disguise for me.”
I’d actually argue the move is a blessing for the entire NFL
as well as their fans. At a time when football is getting a (well-deserved) bad
rap for the rise in the
number of concussions among its professional and amateur players, it gives
you the warm and fuzzies knowing there are human beings underneath all of the
dollar signs, bright lights and bottom lines.
Still might not be of much use to the Bengals on Sunday
afternoons, but I’d argue the Bengals just made great strides for the entire
sport of football by showing they have a lot of heart in addition to a lot of