There are so many miserable stories out there in college sports. But sometimes, one touches your heart.
There was a basketball game last week between two Division III schools, Washington College of Maryland against Gettysburg College of Pa. It would’ve been unremarkable except for the starting lineup for Gettysburg, and who it included. A senior for Gettysburg named Corey Weissman started his first game of the year. Weissman suffered a major stroke after his freshman season there, struggled to regain the ability to walk, but worked hard, stayed with the team, and was finally going to be given a few seconds of playing time on Senior Night.
If it ended right there, it would’ve been a nice, uplifting story. But after Weissman played a few seconds and came out, the game continued. Near the end, with the outcome not in doubt, Cory got back in for a minute. It was the opposing coach, a man named Rob Nugent, who asked Gettysburg to put Cory back in. Nugent then called timeout and told his players to foul Cory immediately.
An opposing coach, who had no ties to this kid at all, knew how much it would mean to Cory and to Gettysburg if Cory scored. Frank Deford eloquently spoke about this story here, and when I first heard it it brought a lump in my throat.
Sports can be so much more than about winning and losing. Here’s video of Cory’s wonderful free throw, the most important shot made all year, anywhere.
**This is Jeb Corliss. He flies through the air. Literally. I saw him on HBO Real Sports the other night, and could not believe the stuff he was doing. Using a space-age-looking thing called a wingsuit, he’s able to jump off mountains and cliffs and fly through the air. It’s pretty amazing. Here’s a video of him jumping in South Africa, and he has a little bit of trouble on the descent. Still, a very cool video (and he lived through this crash, don’t worry.)
He’s a crazy person who loves his life and yet seemingly tries to end it on a regular basis with insane stunts. I like him.
**Finally, sometimes you just can’t explain what makes kids happy. Take 4-year-old Dustin Kruse, who lives in Wisconsin. What makes him happy? Toilets. The boy is just wild about toilets. The Kohler company found about his obsession and gave Dustin a tour of the factory, which can be seen here. And then they gave him a new toilet. Just look at the expression on his face in the above photo. Has anything made you that happy this week?
God bless you, Dustin. I hope your toilet obsession brings you many years of happiness.