It's hard to put into words how Eagles fans are feeling given the news today about Mark Herzlich. One of the great things about blogs is that they can add some humanity to the otherwise plain vanilla stories that come over the newswire.
Here is a sampling of the well-wishes from around the blogosphere attempting to do just that.
"Even for relatively diehard fans, it might have been possible to get through the last couple seasons knowing Mark Herzlich only as "the guy with the crazy facepaint," but that would be missing the lead: The 6'4", 240-pound Boston College linebacker was the defensive player of the year in a conference that had six defenders picked in the first two rounds of this year's draft, and might have joined teammate B.J. Raji in the top-1o if he hadn't decided to come back for his senior season at B.C.
Pray today, then, that the football chapter of Herzlich's story isn't closed after the sure-fire All-American disclosed that he's been diagnosed with cancer."
Eagle in Atlanta:
"Not knowing Mark, but knowing his father a little, I feel confident that the whole family will have the passion, humor, perspective and faith to deal with what they are facing."
ESPN.com's Heather Dinich:
"This is heartbreaking news. One of the best things about my job is talking to the players, and I can tell you that Herzlich is one of the best. He's very well-spoken, intelligent, a natural leader, and an amazing football player. If anyone is strong enough to fight this fight, it's Herzlich."
Every Day Should Be Saturday:
"With early detection, his prognosis is very, very good, but all happy thoughts ot Herzlich, who after all is nasty enough to kick something like cancer's ass, but also nice enough to help nuns shovel snow (even if they have goatees)."
"Pardon my humor, but I just feel really bad right now ... for the cancer. I have no doubt Herzlich will destroy the disease just like he destroyed ACC offenses last year. Here's wishing him a quick recovery."
"Mark Herzlich, we at TSF offer our best wishes to you and your family as you battle through this and, as fans of football the way it is meant to be played, we hope that you beat this cancer into a bloody pulp and mash it into the ground so that we can see you on the gridiron again this fall."
We can only add to this to keep Mark and the Herzlich family in your thoughts and prayers as he beats the C. We certainly will honor Mark's request for privacy in this matter, but do want you to know that Eagles (and non-Eagles) nationwide are rooting for you.
We'll look forward to seeing #94 clad in face paint back on the field soon.