We started a game ball campaign a few weeks back, and I didn't know much what do with it. It's fair to say that handing out game balls after concluding the tape is smarter than handing out game balls directly after the game, but the post itself was a rehash. I talked all week about the play of Lawyer Milloy, Roy Lewis and Mike Williams, and summarizing and restating that and giving out a figurative game ball seemed kind of pointless.
Something occurred to me last night while I was laying in bed: "you know who deserves recognition, if not a 'game ball', Chester Pitts."
Pitts is the very first offensive linemen I know of to recover from microfracture knee surgery and play in a regular season game. Microfracture hasn't proven to be the godsend to pro sports careers that comparative ligament replacement surgery has. Even the procedure itself, in which pseudo-cartilage is made of out blood and bone marrrow, seems rather icky. And tracking Pitts' recovery from afar, I was skeptical. He suffered multiple setbacks, but persevered. He kept battling to get back in the league, and despite no predecessor to prove it was possible, Pitts soldiered on.
Then, in week eight, when Seattle was down to its z-string offensive linemen, Pitts subbed in and played pretty well. That's awesome. Whatever he does from here on out, that will forever be awesome. One has to be tough to be a football player, wicked tough, but what Pitts was able to accomplish rises above toughness. It takes a special kind of determination to overcome your body, your livelihood, breaking down, failing you, and keep fighting on until it doesn't.