In May of 2009, when he played for Boston College, New York Giants linebacker Mark Herzlich was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer.
In February of 2012 he is gearing up to play in the Super Bowl as a member of the New York Giants.
In a Super Bowl filled with storylines, none is more compelling than that of Herzlich.
Mark Herzlich Beats Cancer
Herzlich’s great story began in a very unfortunate way. He was diagnosed in May of 2009 and began life with cancer. He was obviously out for the 2009 season, and he had to focus on ridding himself of the cancer.
The great news came on College Gameday in October of 2009, when Herzlich announced that he was cancer-free.
As seen in the video, Herzlich still had some recovery to do after his announcement. There was still some more treatment needed, but he was going to begin his life as a cancer survivor. This also meant that he could get back onto the football field.
Herzlich returned in 2010 for Boston College and had a great year to finish out his college career. He recorded 65 tackles, forced two fumbles, and intercepted four passes.
His comeback year won him the “Rudy Award”, which is named in honor of Rudy Ruettiger of Notre Dame fame. It is given to players who display courage, and also a commitment to their team. Herzlich clearly showed both of these, and was the clear choice for the award.
Mark Herzlich’s NFL Dreams Come True
The New York Giants decided to give him a chance and signed Herlizch right before the start of training camp. He ended up making the final 53-man roster, and he was not done yet.
After having only five tackles to his name through the first nine games of the season, Herzlich earned the starting spot at linebacker for the game against the Eagles. In that game Herzlich recorded four tackles, and had three the following week against New Orleans on Monday Night Football. He injured his ankle against the Saints, which has held him out of action the rest of the season.
Herzlich was certainly upset about the injury, especially after earning the starting spot, but if anyone can put things into perspective, it is Mark Herzlich. He understood that it was only a temporary injury, and that he would be back on the field soon.
Herzlich’s Inspiring Super Bowl Tweet
The inspirational story of Herzlich gained even more well-deserved attention after a tweet he posted earlier in the week. He re-posted it last night and it read, “2 yrs ago I was told I’d never walk again, Just WALKED off plane to
#Indy to play in #SuperBowl #TakeThatCancer”.
Honestly, could this guy be any more inspirational?
Mark Herzlich will probably not have a major impact on the field today, but his story is easily the best, most compelling, and most inspiring of all the storylines of Super Bowl 46.