Sunday, November 22, 2015

Great feature story by Eli Saslow on a high school football death

There was really an amazing story in the latest ESPN The Magazine with Eli Saslow writing "Why Him? Why Me?" on a recent death during a Louisiana high school football game, and how that horrific event linked to another football calamity from 1989.

The player who died in September of this year was Tyrell Cameron, a 16-year-old from Franklin Parrish High School of who broke his neck after a clean block from Cody Seward on the Sterlington High team. The story of the two is gut-wrenchingly told by Saslow and also brings in Brad Gaines, someone who could relate to the anguish faced by Seward as Gaines while playing for Vanderbilt decades ago was in a collision with Ole Miss player Chucky Mullins where Mullins went helmet-first into the back of Gaines as was paralyzed, with those injuries then leading to a blood clot two years later that took his life.

The rolling together of the story about Cameron dying, the grief of his mother, the pain felt by Seward and attempt by Gaines to help him move forward is beautifully done by Saslow, someone who I've previously posted on great work by him for both ESPN and the Washington Post.