In case you haven’t already read it, ESPN NY’s story about Dennis Byrd and Scott Mersereau and their fateful collision 20 years ago is powerful stuff. Written by Rich Cimini, this is one of the best articles I’ve read about the Jets in a long, long time. In it, Cimini details the journeys that Byrd and Mersereau have traveled since that fateful day in 1992. Here’s a section, in which Cimini chronicles Mersereau’s visit to Byrd’s hospital bedside, just days after the accident.
“I was just a nervous wreck,” Mersereau said. “I mean, more nervous than ever in my life. He saw me, he smiled and the first thing he said was, ‘‘Mers, me and Angie have been so worried about you.’”
Mersereau, sitting at an umbrella table at the Starbucks, paused and swallowed hard. His eyes moistened, his voice cracked. Twenty years later, it still gets to him.
“Worried about me. I can’t forget that,” he said. “It brings a tear to my eye now. He was worried about how I was taking it, and there he was. I’m walking around and he’s in bed, paralyzed at that point. I’d like to think I’m that strong, but I’m not so sure that would be the case.”
Just then, the Florida sky opened and it started pouring.
Brian Bassett, theJetsBlog.com
Truly amazing. This is a story that brought me to tears when I read it. This story is the reason why I am a Jets fan. Byrd’s example of love towards Mersereau is unfathomable. How can you not ask where that emotional strength comes from?
How can you read that and not be changed by the power of that message?
That was the very first NFL game I ever attended.
It was Chiefs Barry Word and Christian Okoye that sparked my interest in football, but it was Dennis Byrd and his tragic story and recovery from that collision with Mersereau that inspired me and left a longer impression.
Byrd and Mersereau’s story changed my life. If anything this story puts life in perspective. Championships are fine, but if all I ever get from being a Jets fan is the inspiration that Dennis Byrd’s story has been to me personally, that’s more than I could ever ask.