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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Make a Difference

I've spent a good amount of my day today with ESPN on the TV providing just enough background noise to be distracting. The overwhelming stories (outside of Charlie Weis) have been about idiots like Plaxico Burress and Sean Avery. That's probably typical, as too often sports stories end up much like the rest of the news -- focusing on the bad stuff.

At 7 p.m. tonight, however, ESPN will rebroadcast Jim Valvano's speech from the 1993 Espys to kick off Jimmy V Week, which raises money for cancer research. Valvano accomplished a lot in his life, but what he did in his final months -- including the tremendous speech at the Espys -- and what his legacy helped accomplish after his death is one of sports' truly great stories.

For any of you whose families have been affected by cancer, I can't encourage you enough to make a donation to the V Foundation. And for those of you who haven't seen the speech or haven't heard it in a while, I can't think of a better way to spend 10 minutes today.

One more note, if you're not familiar with Jimmy V's story, I highly recommend reading this Sports Illustrated piece by Gary Smith. Not only is Smith one of the country's truly great writers (sports or otherwise) but this is article is one that made me want to become a writer myself. It's just exceptionally powerful stuff.

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