I write this blog as an escape. And I know that many readers use this blog as an escape. A break in their work day. A chance to vent, laugh, whatever. Ultimately it is an outlet. As spectators, sports is escapism for most of us. Then moments like this -- when the real world crashes into our playground -- everything comes into perspective.
I don't know Mark at all. I do know friends who have battled various forms of cancer and it is never easy. He's lucky in that he has an otherwise healthy strong body. He has great family support and access to the best medical minds in the world. But regardless all of that, the mental and physical road he is headed down is a rough one. Good or bad, no one knows exactly what is ahead. The only known is that it will be tough.
I know a few of Mark's teammates (none particularly well). I feel for them. Compartmentalizing sports amid all their other distractions is tough to begin with. Add this and there is an additional waive of emotions. When you are looking for leadership and guidance and your leader isn't there, things can spin out of control quickly. Hopefully others will fill that void around the program.
I know Mark's dad. Most BC fans active online feel they know him since he's been a presence on message boards since before Mark signed on with BC. If you've ever met him in person, you see where Mark gets much of his passion and intensity. Even at his age, Sandy looks like he could still run out on the field and kick some ass. In addition to his passion he's also got a good sense of humor. I am partial to people who can laugh during tough times. It's what I try to do. Not knowing Mark, but knowing his father a little, I feel confident that the whole family will have the passion, humor, perspective and faith to deal with what they are facing.
In his statement, Mark asked for privacy. I'll do my best to give that to him. I'll post things as they pop up publicly. I'll focus on the football impact when the time comes. For now, I just pray.