Fans of Rutgers football can be grateful for many things that Head Coach Greg Schiano has done in his tenure thus far. Somewhere near the top is the added depth he has brought to nearly every position on the team. Testing this depth, in the face of harsh adversity is to be expected, as injuries come and go. The manner in which this team will be tested is harshly different from that which most teams must face on a yearly basis.
This past Saturday night three Rutgers football players were involved in a multi-vehicle car accident, victims of irresponsibility and downright stupidity. Drunk driving is a menace, one that rears its ugly head all too often, and tragically suspends life much too soon. Too many of us know someone close who has been on the wrong end of such misfortune. Undoubtedly, not enough of us, it seems, yet know the possible deadly consequences of making a simple decision. And as a result, someone almost always has to pay.
Junior defensive back Dondre Asberry, 20, of Northwestern HS in Miami, suffered a spine fracture in the accident Saturday night. Manny Collins and Eddie Grimes have both since been released from Robert Wood Johnson Hospital, though both suffered various head and facial injuries.
"We had a bad thing occur Saturday night. Three of our players were the victims of an accident. Certainly, from just a people stand point, it's a tough thing. Dondre is in the hospital and has had several things worked on. He is going to be okay, I do believe. But he's going to be a while healing, he's going to be a while in the hospital. He's done for the year. Eddie and Manny Collins, we will see how this thing plays out," stated Rutgers Head Coach Greg Schiano earlier on Tuesday.
Certainly, during such difficult times, one is in awe at the sudden good will and kindness expressed by those that are seemingly furthest from possibly understanding you. Human nature it seems, is not quite as backwards as we may give it credit for.
It is unfortunate that it has to be this way. It is almost comical that this type of incident needs to transpire before we can stroll over to our fellow neighbor, before we can raise the momentary white flag, smile, look him (or her) in the eye, and shake our brother's (or sister's) hand.
It is through tragic moments where we can suddenly stop the world about us and look around. Almost as if by magic. And look. And see. And appreciate.
Does it have to be this way?
The Rutgers football squad has faced many challenges this year. They have met some, and failed in others. They were not prepared for what happened Saturday night. Nobody ever is. These things come unexpectedly, and always seem to happen to someone else. Not this time. This time it was one of the Loyal Sons of Rutgers.
The Scarlet Knights will face a daunting task that few other teams have to. And from this they will learn. They will learn responsibility ... more than any drill can hope to teach. They will learn compassion ... more than any movie can hope to project. They will learn to understand ... more than any preacher can hope to convey.
It's a lesson and a reminder to all of us.
"I really believe he's going to be okay. I pray for him. The team is praying for him."
Mike and the Big Dog's LLC