O.J. Brigance Provides Inspiration To Baltimore Ravens In His Fight With ALS (Video)
The Baltimore Ravens are getting ready for their playoff matchup with the Denver Broncos on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. in Denver, Colorado.
Besides playing for the right to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl on Feb. 3rd (that is if they get past the Broncos this weekend and win the AFC Championship Game on Sunday, January 20) and playing for its star linebacker Ray Lewis, who announced he is playing in his last season before he retires, the Ravens have somebody very special to play for, a former player who inspires them while he fights amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Meet O.J. Brigance, a former player with the Ravens who was a special teams standout and captain during their Super Bowl winning season in 2000. (That's the same championship team that former Ragin' Cajun football great Brandon Stokley played on, catching a touchdown pass in their 34-7 win over the New York Giants in Super Bowl XXXV.) Brigance works in the Ravens' front office as Senior Advisor to Player Engagement and is loved by the team. Star safety Ed Reed says Brigance is "like that big brother to me" helping Reed to be "a better person and a better leader." Brigance says:
What makes me get up three hours early to come into the office is the simple fact that God has blessed me to live another day. So I'd better get my hindparts moving.
Brigance was diagnosed with ALS in 2007, and despite the disease taking away much of his abilities to walk and talk, he has been speaking to the team since 2008 through a machine. He has also created a foundation called the "Brigance Brigade" where their mission is "to equip, encourage and empower people living with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis); we strive to improve the quality of life for them and their families by providing needed equipment, resource guidance and support services, in addition to funding various research initiatives."
Regardless of what we go through in life, there is always purpose wrapped within the pain. It all boils down to this: every triumph and tragedy in my life has served as preparation to stand firm in this moment, to take what many perceive as an unbearable circumstance and impact the lives of others.
Watch the video below and allow O.J. Brigance's story to inspire you: