Eric LeGrand Responds to the Most Moving Sports Video of the Year

Rocky SamuelsCorrespondent IINovember 21, 2012

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - OCTOBER 29:  Former Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand #52 leads the Rutgers Scarlet Knights onto the field before a game against West Virginia Mountaineers at High Point Solutions Stadium on October 29, 2011 in New Brunswick, New Jersey. LeGrand was paralyzed during a kickoff return in October 2010. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

ESPN's feature on a wrestling families' indomitable spirit in the face of a perilous health crisis was so soul-stirring that not only did it spark immediate Twitter responses from athletes like Eric LeGrand, but it may go down as one of the most moving sports stories ever recorded on film.

After its first airing, LeGrand immediately offered a straightforward endorsement of the short video:


This #NoQuit Special on @sportscenter Is great

— Eric LeGrand (@EricLeGrand52) November 21, 2012


It is no wonder that the feature resonated with LeGrand, who has exhibited unflinching optimism and belief after an on-field football injury on October 16, 2010 left him paralyzed.

The same awe-inspiring perseverance so vividly recounted in LeGrand's memoirBelieve: My Faith and the Tackle that Changed My LIfe, is prevalent throughout the ESPN feature on the O'Donnell family. 

For 15 riveting minutes, viewers are immersed in a harrowing journey as Tod O'Donnel's family prays, prods and pleads for him to emerge out of a coma he entered after falling and striking his head.

As a tireless and unflappable supporter of his wrestling sons, T.J. and Tim, the elder O'Donnell had instilled in them a mantra repeated throughout the film and now crystallized in a representative hashtag: #noquit.

The day before his fateful fall, Tod O'Donnell had watched T.J. win a gold medal in the World Police and Fire Games Wrestling Championship, an award which T.J. later squeezed into his father's unresponsive hand in the hospital as a sacred emblem of the family's hope for a miracle.  

The younger son Tim filmed that moment and other heartrending scenes during the family's agonizing wait for Todd to emerge from his coma.

You can see the powerful events that ensue by watching the feature at this link.