Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano (left) and Army head coach Rich Ellerson (right) watch as medical personnel treat Rutgers player Eric LeGrand after he was injured tackling Army runner Malcolm Brown in the fourth quarter of their game at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ on Saturday, October 16, 2010. LeGrand suffered a spinal cord injury in the Scarlet Knights' 23-20 overtime victory against Army and has no movement below his neck, the school announced Sunday. CHET GORDON/Times Herald-Record
I worked the ARMY - Rutgers game at the New Meadowlands Stadium this past weekend over in NJ. Spent a lot of years at the Sports Complex throughout my career covering everything from horse shows, college and pro football in the "old" Giants Stadium, to college basketball and of course the NJ Nets and NJ Devils in their respective arenas. Nothing prepared me for the massive hit that Rutgers defensive tackle Eric LeGrand leveled on Army runner Malcolm Brown on a kickoff return late in the game. The collision took place literally 10 yards from me, and I can still hear the crack when LeGrand went airborne and struck Brown head on. I didn't shoot the play as I was blocked by other players and sideline officials, but knew immediately that someone would most likely have been seriously injured after such a crushing hit. There was a deafening silence in the ballpark and you could almost hear every camera firing from both sidelines in those ensuing moments. I only made a few frames when the medical personnel were treating LeGrand, as well as when they carted him off the field. As of today, he remains paralyzed from the neck down after surgery to relieve pressure on his spinal cord, at Hackensack, NJ Medical Center.
You can watch a video of the play by clicking: HERE.
As a teenager I remember Washington Redskins' running back Larry Brown who said in an interview, "Playing in the NFL is like being in a car accident on every play..." ~cg.