A few days ago, a short video from Showtime surfaced on the Internet about a dying Colts fan’s last wish. Danny Webber wanted to meet Andrew Luck at a Colts game before dying of the terminal cancer that had put him in hospice care.
If you haven’t seen the video, which you can find by searching “Danny Webber Meets Colts QB Andrew Luck,” I certainly recommend doing so soon. It’s a powerful glimpse into the effort of a few great people to give Danny one last happy moment in his life.
In the video, the Colts grant Danny’s last wish by inviting him to a game and giving him passes to go on the field before the game. During his time on the field, a few Colts players and coaches greet Danny and show him support. The climax of Danny’s visit was Andrew stopping by to talk quickly and to present him with an autographed football.
When I showed this video to friends in person and on Facebook, I was surprised by the reaction it received. Everyone here focused on how proud they were of Andrew and how great of a person Andrew is. This was a very different message than I expected to hear.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge Andrew Luck fan. I think Andrew’s a great guy, and what he did for Danny Webber was very kind. But you and I know that most people in that situation would have done something very similar for Mr. Webber.
When I think about Danny Webber’s story, I think about how lucky we are all at Stanford. Someone on this earth’s last wish was to meet Andrew Luck. Think about this for a minute. For his last happy day on this earth, Danny Webber wanted thirty seconds with Andrew.
How many of you reading this spent a lot more than thirty seconds with Andrew Luck during his time on The Farm? How many others have spent days, weeks, or even years with someone else who is truly amazing on this campus? I’m guessing it’s a pretty big list, and certainly includes me.
This place is really frickin’ cool. When midterms are at their worst, you’re pulling an all-nighter for a paper, or you just can’t figure out that last question on the CS 103 problem set, try to remember how lucky we really are. I can’t imagine wanting to be anywhere else. I think my friend Jacob Jaffe said it best in his last ever column at The Daily before graduating in June:
“At Stanford, you get to meet some of the greatest athletes in the world and you get to see championships every year. But you also get everything else that goes with it. You don’t need to work for the newspaper or radio station to get an up-close and personal look at all these games. You don’t need to be in the right frat or sorority to know the athletes personally, as friends instead of just icons. And you don’t need to be in the LSJUMB to have your blood pumping when ‘All Right Now’ plays.”
I’ll add to Jacob that you don’t need to focus on the highest-profile sporting events either. Andrew Luck might have received front-page coverage throughout his career, but even with him gone, there is plenty of greatness left behind that you can experience almost any day.
I’m not kidding with that any day either. Start tonight at 7 p.m. Head to Maples Pavilion to see Chiney Ogwumike, a preseason First Team All-American basketball player, open up her junior season. Just like Andrew, Chiney is one of the best players in her sport in the entire world and an awesome person off the court. The difference between Chiney and Andrew, lucky for you, is that Chiney will be here for two more years.
The beauty of this campus, besides all the palm trees, is that even with all the time I spend covering athletics, I’m certain that there are so many more amazing people I haven’t even heard of who are leaving their legacy on The Farm. Go out and meet them. Watch them be great. You’re lucky. You don’t have to wait until your dying breath to have the opportunity.
Sam Fisher has spent close to 300 minutes with Andrew Luck, but hopes one day to earn a little face time with Henry “Goose” Anderson to discuss the intricacies of FIFA. Set the two of them up together at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow Sam on Twitter @SamFisher908.