The Enormity of the Herzlich story
Things are about to change for Mark Herzlich and BC football. In a few weeks the hoped for and hypothetical will become real. Mark will play football again and if the ACC media day is an indicator, this story will be huge. But Mark's candid responses to his risk and his goals opens up all the possibilities in play in this unbelievable narrative.
First (and this is our worst fear), Mark admitted that if he breaks his left leg, it would have a hard time healing due to the radiation and tumor. Most wouldn't risk that, but as we know, Mark is not most people. I can't see this ending that way. However, if this ending takes a sad turn, it will not be a tragedy and I don't think it would play out that way in the media. A broken leg would just mean Mark left everything he had on the field and that football ended his career, not cancer.
I think most BC fans expect Mark to contribute and be an emotional inspiration this season. If he is pretty good and BC is pretty good, Mark will still be the center of attention on a weekly basis and an inspiration to us all.
Mark clearly expect more than that. He wants to be better than he was in 2008. If he is better than his ACC Defensive Player of the Year season, he will win the Heisman. That's not hyperbole. Regardless of my BC allegiance, I believe that after the Reggie Bush nonsense, the media/Heisman voters would trip over each other in a rush to mail in their ballots for the All America, cancer-conquering linebacker from a BCS conference. The hype and pride surrounding his recovery would quadruple if Mark plays that well. No other candidate would stand a chance.
The odds of a defensive player winning the Heisman are long. The odds of a BC player winning the Heisman are long. But Mark has already shown that he is an outlier and isn't worried about statistics and normal outcomes. As I said, this story is going to be huge. Why not think big and think the impossible?