Leonard Weaver Walks the Long Road

Leonard Weaver Walks the Long Road

Professional football is a brutal and unforgiving business. Injuries occur, the game stops, the player is helped off the field, and the game goes on. The game always goes on.

Fans quickly shift their thoughts from concern for the injured player to whether the unproven rookie, thrust into action, can step up and replace the production of the injured player. We wonder how the coaches will adjust the game plan to compensate for the loss. The game goes on.

But what happens when the game stops for the injured player? What happens when that player is as open, gregarious, and eternally optimistic as Leonard Weaver? Well, in the case of Big Weave and his Twitter feed we're constantly reminded not to forget.

The injury Weaver suffered was gruesome. Fresh off of a Pro Bowl season in 2009 he was primed for a big year in 2010. Everything changed the opening week of the season against Green Bay. B.J. Raji and Nick Barnett converged on Weaver -- Raji high, Barnett low -- and the ligaments in Weave's left knee essentially exploded. As if that wasn't enough, he also suffered nerve damage.

At a minimum his season was done. More likely than not, the injury was a career ending. Four months after suffering the injury he couldn't even lift his left foot. To this day he has no feeling in his left foot. Regaining the ability to walk normally would have been considered a successful recovery. But don't tell that Leonard Weaver. He wants to come back. All the way back.

If you follow Weaver on Twitter you know all about his kids, his dogs (Mango and Dream), and his ongoing rehab. He makes Don Tollefson, aka Tolley Sunshine, seem depressed. What you don't know is how challenging his rehab has really been.

Well, if you watch this video you'll know. Comcast SportsNet's Derrick Gunn traveled to Alabama and caught up with Weaver as he continues his rehab. The piece is fantastic. What took it to another level was when Kevin Wilk, Weaver's physical therapist, a man who is trained to push elite athletes past their breaking point, breaks down himself. Wilk is simply overcome by emotion at the thought that Weaver might not make it back.

The piece is a shade over five minutes long, but is beyond worthwhile. Leonard Weaver has convinced himself that he'll be back. Who are we to tell him otherwise? Lord knows the game goes on.

Photo Credit:Howard Smith - US Presswire

The Phillies season in one video: 'Phanatic tries to comfort crying baby'

The Phillies season in one video: 'Phanatic tries to comfort crying baby'

What is there to say about the Philadelphia Phillies?

In doing my usual postgame perusal of the Internet after their 7-2 loss on Wednesday night, I visited Phillies.com to see what kind of "highlights" they could have possibly posted from another crushing defeat at the hands of the Colorado Rockies.

Thankfully, the first thing that caught my eye was a video titled, "Phanatic tries to comfort crying baby."

It was not Larry Andersen in the Phanatic's arms. Nor me.

And that's the Phillies season in a nutshell.

"You gotta question the parenting skills here," John Kruk said on the telecast. And he's right! What kind of parent would raise their kid to be a Philly sports fan?!?

The Phillies now have the worst record in all of baseball. They're 4-20 in their last 24 games. It's their worst start to a season since 1960.

Even the Phanatic doesn't have enough popcorn to mask all the pain.

If you want to read about the upbeat approach Pete Mackanin is taking, go give this a gander.

"In a long season, these things sometimes happen," Mackanin told reporters. "I remember Atlanta, the first half last year, was terrible. They had a real good second half. I believe we just need to get something going. We're going to put something together. I believe that."

That makes one of us.

Highly ranked 2018 recruit Brandon Slater verbally commits to Villanova

Highly ranked 2018 recruit Brandon Slater verbally commits to Villanova

The future of Villanova basketball just got brighter.

Brandon Slater, a 6-foot-6 wing and highly touted 2018 recruit, told Scout.com on Wednesday night that he has verbally committed to the Wildcats.

He later made the announcement on Twitter.

Among the 2018 recruiting class, Slater, a product of Paul VI Catholic High School in Fairfax, Virginia, is ranked in the top 30 by Scout.com and top 50 by ESPN.com. He's slated as a four-star talent by both media outlets.

Per ESPN, Slater had offers from Louisville, Maryland, Miami, Syracuse, USC and Virginia Tech. He is Villanova's first commitment for 2018.

"Going up there it just feels like a second home," Slater said, via Evan Daniels of Scout.com. "It gives me a good vibe. It's nothing like all the other schools. I just feel like a Villanova guy. It feels like PVI. It's already home."

Slater and Villanova head coach Jay Wright expressed their excitement on Twitter.