Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Shoot the J.....For a Good Cause

As a former college athlete, I've had the pleasure of playing with or against the likes of Trent Green, Tom Brady, Joey Galloway, Corey Stringer, Kerry Collins, Adewale Oguyleye, Eddie George, and Mike Alstot among others.

While all that makes great dinner conversation, with the way athletes are portrayed in the media, being a former college football player is not always something to brag about. I'm sure some of you are questioning my usage of the word "portrayed." While I think the media exxagerates bad athletes and spreads stereotypes about athletes, there are certainly plenty of examples of why I am not always proud to be a former athlete:

OJ Simpson

Rae Carruth

Mike Tyson

Well, last night was not only a great night of basketball,

  • #24 Oklahoma St. upset #21 Syracuse 72 - 68

  • #15 Arizona held off Louisville 72 - 65

but I was also reminded that Little T Learns to Share is not the only good thing that comes out of sports (yeah, yeah, I know there are a lot of good things).

Last night's games were part of the Jimmy V Classic, which is a partnership between ESPN and The V Foundation. The V Foundation was formed in 1993 with the dream of Jim Valvano, a former college basketball coach and announcer, as he battled cancer. Jim died later that year, but his foundation, which was formed to raise money for cancer research lives on today.

In just 13 years, the V Foundation has raised $60 Million. Over the last 5 years .83 cents of every dollar donated went directly to cancer research. Today, the Foundation is able to operate with 100% of everything donated going directly to cancer research.

The clip above is from the 1993 ESPY awards. Jimmy V received the inaugural Arthur Ashe Courage and Humanitarian Award. Although no touchdowns were scored and no baskets were made, his acceptace speech is one of the greatest moments in sports history. You can read his entire speech here.

After being helped to the stage, Jimmy V gave a great speech. You've probably heard it before, but here's how he ended it, Cancer can take away all my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart and it cannot touch my soul. And those three things are going to carry on forever. I thank you and God bless you all.

This post was very educational for me. Here are some cancer stats from the V Foundation website:

• About 1.4 million new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed in 2006. More than 20 million new cancer cases have been diagnosed since 1990.

• One of every two men and one out of three women will get cancer in their lifetimes.

• Three out of every four American families will have at least one family member diagnosed with cancer.

• About 565,000 Americans are expected to die of cancer in 2006. In the U.S., cancer is the second leading cause of death, responsible for 1 in 4 deaths.

• According to the National Institutes of Health, overall costs for cancer in 2005 were nearly $210 billion, including medical costs, the cost of lost productivity due to illness and the cost of lost productivity due to premature death.

• Approximately 77 percent of all cancers are diagnosed in people aged 55 and older.

• An estimated 9,500 new cases of cancer are anticipated among children aged 14 and younger in 2006. Other than accidents, cancer is the leading cause of death among children.

If you are interested in donating to the Jimmy V Foundation click the link below:

Baba Ganoush, OUT.


BSB said...

I have helped in my own way to help raise money and awareness for cancer research...

Glad to see that other people have joined in.. ;-)

Great post!

angry ballerina said...

Good post man. However, why dont you shave your head like BSB did? Jk.

Evil Spock said...

Evil Spock is impressed with your thoughts for The Needs of the Many.

Oh, and you forgot Ray Lewis.

Baba Ganoush said...

AB -

I shaved my head accidentally one time and let's just say I hope I never go bald.

ES -

I did not forget Ray. However, Ray was not only found not guilty, I truly believe he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, but that's another post.

Evil Spock said...

That's OJ's excuse too. Just kidding about Ray Lewis. Go Ravens!

BSB said...

I will probably do it again.. it's only hair.. please.... get over yourself! ;-)