When the world saw Louisville Cardinals player Kevin Ware go down during the Elite 8 match up against Duke with a gruesome leg injury, everyone was left wondering how someone’s leg could completely fold in such a horrifying manner. Most of us are unable to relate to such a terrible injury, but there is one man that can relate to suffering a compound fracture during competition and that is former Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann.
After seeing Ware’s injury with the rest of us, Theismann reached out to Louisville head coach Rick Pitino in hopes of giving the young man a person to relate to and talk to that experienced the same injury.
“Coach [Rick] Pitino was kind enough to help me out in getting in touch with Kevin. I felt so bad for him and I want to try to offer, as much as I can, support to him from an emotional standpoint,” Theismann told The Mighty 1090 in San Diego.
“He certainly doesn’t need me for anything at this point, but maybe down the road a little bit, some things may come up in his rehab or some questions may come up. … Unless you’ve actually been through something, you don’t know the physical and psychological impact that the recovery has.”
Theismann was impressed with the way Louisville players and Pitino handled the injury and went to visit their fallen teammate after they advanced to the Final Four as the Midwest Region champions.
Watching the injury also brought Theismann right back to the moment when he was injured.
“The night lives with me quite often, because people will come up all the time and ask me how the leg is. That’s the No. 1 question,” Theismann said. “Seeing what happened to Kevin took me back to Nov. 18, just like it was yesterday. The faces around me, the smells, the sounds, the moisture on my back, it was all right there very vivid once again in my mind. In living through it again, it just sort of drove a point home to me that if there’s anything I can do to help this young man.”
It is great to see all of the support that Ware is receiving. It’s a horrible injury, but with the strong support behind him he will be able to pull through all of this and return to the court next season.
We are all rooting for Ware, and hats off to Theismann for reaching out to the young man to share his experience.