A Little Story About Jack & Brian – Postscript

I wanted to give a quick follow-up to the two-part feature “A Little Story About Jack & Brian” as so many of you have been touched by it and commented, emailed or posted on your respective Facebook pages. First, if you don’t know what I’m referring to you can read part one by clicking HERE. You can read part two by clicking HERE.

I’m not going to lie. The amount of feedback has been pretty rewarding for me, but more importantly I’m glad I struck a chord with so many of you.  Below is a smattering of feedback that I thought was worth sharing.

First, Northwestern Highlights, our NU-only football highlights guru took the time to create a Brian Peters-only montage for Jack to use in his daily workouts. Here is the clip:

 

Jack watches the Peters-only highlights while working out this morning

Joanna Marshall sent me this photo of Jack using the montage while doing his weighted leglifts early this morning. Again, one small act of kindness on NUHighlights behalf and look at the difference you can make.

I received emails from several family members of the team, Northwestern football-related folks and even president Schapiro.  Joanna Marshall found a new Brian Peters jersey at her doorstep with no note, no message. It’s a woman’s small, so she thinks it is for her. She continues to give me crap about the one photo of her as she said “ugh. I hadn’t showered in like a week in that photo.” I’ll be sure to include her at a time when she feels more photogenic, hopefully at an upcoming tailgate. Joanna commented in the comments section, but for those of you who missed it, I thought it was worth reprinting here:

I couldnt have imagined anyone telling this story better…..there is a reason our paths crossed at the Army game in NYC….this was meant for you to tell LTP!

I remember when you were at my house last week – you asked me why I am such a Cats fan…..Im a fan ofcourse because of my undergrad bond and my brothers and husband having ties as well – but Im a super fan because of who these boys are, what this program represents and what they have done to support my son – and my family. Lifting Jack’s spirits at a very difficult time, lifted mine. Maybe this piece will have that effect on others – the human side of these kids and how they effect youth off the field….Jack will be a superfan for life….and he will inspire others to be fans too along the way….and he will spread this life lesson with many for years to come…..

That is what we forget in the midst of the wins and losses – and that is what separates NU from many many other schools – the character of these student athletes. Perhaps that is Fitz’s gift to them…..one that will take them much farther in life than the game they perhaps leave behind……

I am forever grateful to this program for how they have inspired Jack…..

Thank you again for the story

Jack’s Mom

Oh – and for everyone out there….Jack is reading all the comments – he loves them. LTP is now inspiring him as well. Thank you all!!!

Jack really enjoyed reading about himself, but he and his dad think I’m dead wrong about the part in part two when I referenced the part of his leg that has no muscle and how organized sports are out of the picture right now. Who the heck am I to doubt Jack?!!! There is no doubt if there is a will and a way to overcome, he will. 

Brian Peters responded to me via Twitter (aka @Brian_Peters10 , with the following message:

The article was awesome, thank you for writing it, I have received a lot of great feedback from it.

 

The beauty of Brian’s postscript story is that he still doesn’t understand why the fuss about doing something that didn’t take so much on his part. He is finally getting the message about the impact he had and the true meaning of the impact he and his teammates have the ability to make.

Carla Peters tracked me down and left a very heartfelt and sincere voicemail (I called her back and left her a voicemail) about how thankful she was for the article and how it is the talk of the town not only in Pickerington, OH, but that thanks to social media she is getting calls and emails from Columbus, OH to a coach at Georgia Tech congratulating her. I hope she doesn’t mind sharing any of this, but I could tell she was choking up, with a sense of pride and thankfulness,  as she left the message. Thank YOU Carla.

I have no idea how the commenter “Linda Kelly” is related to Brian (see comments section of Part I), but her comment sent shivers through my spine. I had NO IDEA the day I posted part I, Halloween, was Brian’s birthday. This fact struck a karma chord with my wife who is very practical and not so much in to the fate line of reasoning.

Jack shows off NU pounding Nebraska in PlayStation 3

As for Jack, I’ve asked for his Friday Forecast of the game. He’s been running simulations of the ‘Cats vs Nebraska and he had his mom email me this outcome of a game he played.  The ‘Cats romped which gave Jack some big confidence for Saturday. More to come on the trickle down impact of this story when it is applicable.

 

Kafka Proud

While we’re in puff the chest out mode, I wanted to bring attention to Mike Kafka’s growing stock in Philly as head coach Andy Reid took the time to really point out his confidence in our #13 as the primary driver in his willingness to move Kevin Kolb. Check out this quote which I’m hoping NU recruit, Matt Alviti, is reading closely:

“You’re saying that just right, because in order to do the Kevin Kolb deal, I had to have trust in Mike Kafka. And in order to bring Vince Young in, I had to have trust in Mike Kafka. Mike has got this huge, huge upside. He had a great preseason. The game that he got in to… He’s so tough. The South side of Chicago attitude, man. He’s got that.
Tough kid. And he loves to play. I’ve got to kick him out of here at night. He’s here til 10 p.m., knocking stuff out. Great representative of Northwestern, I’ll tell you.” – Andy Reid in Bears’ week teleconference 11.2.11

 

Not So Weak Link
Congrats to Tina Akouris for a great angle on Nebraska Weak (sic).  Most diehard NU fans don’t even know the name Tim Weak. He’s a walk-on who originally chose Nebraska (he’s an Omaha, NE native), but was told the spots were full so he chose NU. Weak has been deluged by media requests all week long to the point where he is getting some good natured mocking from his teammates. It does go to show how deep the obsession is in Lincoln, which I’m certain most NU fans visiting will report back is an unforgettable experience. Check out Tina’s story here.

Scouting Ahead

Minnesota WR and KOR Marcus Jones is out for the year after tearing his ACL according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Jones returned a KO for a 92-yard TD vs Purdue.  A tough year for WRs named Jones in the Big Ten!

Husker Help

There is quite a bit of banter about the recent return of Nebraska “lockdown” CB Alfonso Dennard who was back in the line-up against Sparty after a spell of being sidelined. Many are pointing to his return as the reason Nebraska may be the hottest team in the Big Ten. ESPN.com’s Brian Bennett offers up an article that might frighten NU fans.

  • Smolmania

    The only bad thing that I can say about the Jack/Brian stories is that my associate walked into my office the other day when I was reading the second part. How do you explain sitting at your desk reading an internet story with tears streaming down your cheeks?

    A good reminder about why we’re Northwestern fans. Thanks LTP.

    • Sherman and Noyes

      I was in the same exact boat – sitting with my team at work and trying to hold it together. This is such a wonderful example of why we can be exceptionally proud to be associated with Northwestern, regardless of a given season’s wins and losses.

      Thank you LTP for sharing the story with us, and thank you Brian for being a class act and representing us so well.

      Also, how cool is that video clip, and how pumped up does it get you for more NU memories.

  • supercat

    Thank you LTP, the Marshalls, the Peters, and especially to Jack & Brian for sharing such an uplifting story. It really puts things into perspective, doesn’t it? It makes me proud to be a ‘Cat fan and it makes me prouder of the young men on our football team. Jack, we are all rooting for you! Go ‘Cats!

  • It’s wonderful to hear about the readership and reaction that the story received. I hope that it falls into the hands of every coach and student athlete at Northwestern. It’s a great lesson in not taking such chance meetings for granted. I would think that many student athletes don’t see themselves as being in any kind of position of influence or inspiration. With school work, practice, and everything else going on in their busy lives, they’re probably often too busy to even think about it. But doing the rights things in life can have implications far beyond what we expect.

    I’m sure that Fitz is proud of what these young men are accomplishing on and off the field. We all are.

    • Lake The Posts

      Very well said. Indeed, I hope that this story might spark more athletes, not just NU, to show the ROI of just a little bit of time and relationship building.

  • PBR Cat

    Upon your honor as a Wildcats fan, LTP, promise us that appropriate updates will be posted about Jack Marshall and his progress in the future.

    SSomeday, I hope to hear the public service announcer introduce Jack as one of the “Kickoff Kids” at Ryan Field!

    • LondonAlum

      These were fantastic articles, both well-written with a great, heart-tugging message. My only problem was the same as Smolmania encountered: It’s difficult enough to explain why you are reading a football blog at work, but it is even more difficult to explain why you are silently weeping.

      Whilst you deserve a lot of praise, LTP, the real heroes are Brian and Jack. I always thought that Brian was a classy guy on the field, but now I know that I have only seen a small part of the person within. And Jack: what a great kid. I wish him and his family all the best fortune that the world can provide.

      • Lake The Posts

        Couldn’t agree more. This is about Jack and Brian NOT me. Will promise to keep you updated.

  • HudyBlitz

    Great series of stories. Thanks LTP. And thanks to NU Highlights for the special montage….what a reminder that Brian has made so many great plays over the years. Let’s hope #10 can add another chapter to this story with a pick or two on Saturday to become #3 all-time in NU interceptions.

  • Jim

    TREND TO BE ENCOURAGED !!

    Coincidentally, this week, I received this “Goals for Good” initiative sponsored by the male and female student athletes on teams in the ECAC hockey conference.
    http://goalsforgood.org/

    Many of you are familiar with the “Friends of Jaclyn” inspired by the NU women’s lacrosse team.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/16/sports/othersports/16northwestern.html

    There’s a tremendous potential for student athletes to leverage their impact o their communities, yes ?