In the course of running this blog, relatively few things have left me basically speechless. We typically deal with football games, recruiting, and day-to-day events, all of which seem like huge deals when they happen but really aren't. Then something comes along that resets the priority list, so to speak, and reminds us that sports don't matter nearly as much as we pretend they do. Today's news about Isaiah Austin is one of those things.
In case you haven't seen the fanshot or any discussion on twitter in the last few minutes, Baylor C Isaiah Austin announced this morning that he was diagnosed yesterday with Marfan syndrome, and his playing career is over as a result. The interview:
Isaiah Austin's emotional interview with ESPN where he confirms the Marfan diagnosis. http://t.co/9KEXZ00nuy— Chuck Carlton (@ChuckCarltonDMN) June 22, 2014
From the Mayo Clinic (find out more from the Marfan Foundation):
Marfan syndrome is an inherited disorder that affects connective tissue — the fibers that support and anchor your organs and other structures in your body. Marfan syndrome most commonly affects the heart, eyes, blood vessels and skeleton.
People with Marfan syndrome are usually tall and thin with disproportionately long arms, legs, fingers and toes. The damage caused by Marfan syndrome can be mild or severe. If your heart or blood vessels are affected, the condition can become life-threatening.
That feeling you're having, in addition to what I imagine is intense sadness, is a whole lot starting to make sense.
The official Baylor Athletics site at BaylorBears.com has a full write-up posted with quotes from Austin and others about the news. Included in that piece is a statement from Coach Drew that they intend for Isaiah to return to Baylor and complete his degree while serving as a coach. We shouldn't be surprised they'd do exactly what I hoped they'd do.
Once a Bear, always a Bear, Isaiah. Our hearts are with you and your family today.
From Isaiah himself on Twitter:
I would love to thank EVERYONE who has reached out to me. Toughest days of my life. But not the last! Life goes on. GOD IS STILL GREAT!— God's Child (@IsaiahAustin) June 22, 2014
That's just amazing, is what that is.