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gunnar esiason: profile in courage

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by shockey, Sep 27, 2008.

  1. shockey

    shockey Active Member

    for the uninitiated, boomer esiason's 17-year-old son, gunnar, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis 15 years ago, about the time boomer was dealt from the bengals to the jets. on the anniversary of the diagnosis, i did a big story for the n.y. daily news on boomer. his wife cheryl and gunnar. boomer was kind enough to invite me to his long island home, and as luck of the draw would have it, the eldest shockey boy was home "sick" from pre-school that day, so i dragged him along to hang with gunnar as i hung out with boomer and cheryl in their backyard that may afternoon.

    at one point, little man shockey and gunnar began tossing around a mini-football. sure enough, one of my son's tosses hit gunnar in the face. no blood, just a few tears and much anxiety on my part.

    the paper assigned a photographer at the house to shoot esiasons. after taking shots of the esiasons, the photograher, a friend, called little shockey over to take a pic with boomer and gunnar. a potential keeper for life, right? except little man got cold feet and refused to take part in the photo shoot! unreal.

    anyway, i've been fascinated by the esiasons from the time gunnar was diagnosed. all the jets beat writers in '93 freaked out upon learning that gary smith had been with boomer night-and-day from late june to late july to do an s.i. cover piece on boomer, his father, and gunnar. we got over it. it was a marvelous story. shocking, i know.

    well, today gunnar is the back-up QB for his private school team. i'll let this story by newsday's bob herzog speak for itself. i dare you not to be moved:

  2. prezclinton

    prezclinton Active Member

    Great read.
  3. shockey

    shockey Active Member

    just dug up the gary smith piece from '93:

  4. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for posting Shockey. Being a Jet fan I've followed from the begining. Boomer is such a good guy, its a shame he has to work with the dirtball Craig Carton. The fact that he has to share a mic with that guy is a profile in courage.
  5. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    CF took my favorite uncle at age 35, a damn long life for that disease. He lived in Cincinnati and was a lifelong Bengals season ticket holder, including Boomer's glory days. That SI cover many years ago really hit home, and I'm thrilled to know Gunnar is still going strong.
  6. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Active Member

    Thanks for sharing, shockey. Truly sobering work.
  7. What I always liked about Boomer is that he was doing charity work for CF looong before it ever affected his family.
  8. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    Shockey, I remember your story on the Esiasons. It was an outstanding read. Boomer has been very good about Gunnar's illness and loves to talk about his son. Boomer is one of the good guys, always has been in my book since his days at Maryland. I'm pleased things have worked out. God works miracles.
  9. Bubbler

    Bubbler Active Member

    Cool story.
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