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Dec 9, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants running back David Wilson (22) does a flip to celebrate a touch down in the fourth quarter against the New Orleans Saints at Metlife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: William Perlman/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports

David Wilson: The Heart of an NFL Champion

David Wilson: Don’t feel sorry for me

It’s interesting… these days Twitter matters little, but reveals so much in terms of how humanity labels one another through brief statements. For @4stillRunning (David Wilson) it simply says:

“I went from crawlin, to walkin,to running to jumping,to flipping, and with God on my side ill fly.”

Giants Nation, earlier today my colleague @AdamGaneles wrote this headline: Report: Giants’ David Wilson Shut Down for Season, Career in Doubt. And it’s true, unfortunately. David Wilson has been advised that he should ‘no longer play football‘ according to

Giants running back David Wilson was advised today by Dr. Russell Warren, the team’s physician and former surgeon-in-chief for the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS), and Dr. Frank Cammisa, chief of spine service at HSS, that he should no longer play football. Wilson will be placed on injured reserve for the 2014 season.

“Dr. Frank Cammisa Jr., our spine specialist at  HSS   examined David this morning and following that exam, we both sat down and shared our perspective with David,” said Dr. Warren. “David has diffuse cervical stenosis. He had a disc removed and a fusion in January.  In light of last week’s episode of symptoms, sensory and motor, Frank and I both told David he should not play football any more. We let David know that by playing, he would be putting himself at risk for more episodes like last week or perhaps something more serious. ”

At, they quoted David Wilson in this piece repeating that ‘don’t play’ sentiment titled, David Wilson advised to not play football, placed on IR:

“I don’t want anybody to feel sorry for me, or pity me,” said Wilson. “I lived my dream. A lot of people only get to dream their dream. I lived that dream. Now I have a chance to dream another dream and live that, too.”

ESPN added to the words with a touching picture from David Wilson’s tweet:

If you can’t read David Wilson’s full words, they are as follows:

At age 8 I told my #Dad I wanted to play football in THE NFL at this point in my life I have done that. Even Blessed to be drafted in the 1st round. Broke and set RECORDS, scored Touchdowns, and all that follows. It’s a great feeling to live a out dream. Unfortunately that has been paused but I am blessed that I am able to walk away from this game healthy and still able to be me with no restrictions pain or struggle and So all I ask is please don’t be sorry or pity ME that’s just one chapter life goes on and I’m glad I can live it. Once a Giant always a #Giant #pocketrocket

David Wilson: The Heart of an NFL Champion

Reading that, you see why the big networks chose to highlight those words. When a player faces a devastating life change, fanatics often jump to extreme dramatics and absolute terminology concerning their outlook on life in the face of tragic reality. With David Wilson, it appears the big networks are trying to help “Flip” sell this as a positive.  After all, he’s only just now, this summer, been around the sun 23 times. David Wilson is young and has been facing this neck issue head on for almost a year.

This was a story from last October stating the issue would be 3-4 weeks and wouldn’t require surgery, David Wilson’s neck injury does not require surgery, second opinion confirms:

David Wilson feared the second opinion he received on his neck today could mean season-ending surgery.

But after a visit to the doctor in Los Angeles, Wilson was told the procedure was not recommended, a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed. The person requested anonymity in order to speak freely on the matter.

The news was first reported by Fox Sports.

As of now, a very rough 3-4 week timetable has been placed on Wilson’s recovery, although it may still be too early to completely pin down when he’ll be back. Sitting down for the season has not been ruled out entirely yet and will depend on how Wilson responds to treatment.

Wilson’s second opinion confirmed what was originally believed by the Giants medical staff: Wilson has spinal stenosis and a herniated disc. The severity of the herniation and the issue with the spinal chord are being monitored closely by the Giants. According to one person familiar with the results, he is not in the clear just yet. The mixture of stenosis and a herniated disc coupled with Wilson’s position, which carries a high collision rate, signals a long road ahead.

There is unquestionably a long road ahead for David Wilson, but it appears he’s mentally prepared himself well for this battle. Last year the injury may not have appeared as career threatening, but all fear wasn’t hidden. In football, neck injuries can unfortunately alter players livelihoods, especially at the running back position. Thankfully, Wilson was only injured in the soft hitting atmosphere of modern NFL training camps. If Wilson had made it to the regular season, the injury might have been significantly worse with bodies moving at NFL speeds. Who knows? It’s a what-if scenario and those rarely help for anything more than speculation bouts and making a brain spin with curiosity.

What is known is that David Wilson is taking it all in stride. At such a young age, it’s unique to see a human accept the loss of his dreams while appreciating the goals and dreams that he’s already achieved. In a world where selfish desire and laziness are prevailing themes, it’s awesome to point out the stories of triumph and heart, of positive attitude and uplifting spirits vs negativity and a “who cares, this sucks anyway” outlook on life.

David Wilson is not that latter guy. This is a young man with heart and special athletic talent that is having his body and doctors telling him “NO”, while he simply say, “Okay, what’s the next dream then?” So how cool is that? How inspirational is that? In the football writing world, where there are thousands and thousands of writers like myself dreaming about being on the gridiron and seeing that as the end all be all. We  live out our dreams vicariously through the triumphs of those with the actual physical ability. David Wilson champions the idea that they’re are plenty more dreams to be had — that’s special.

It’s true, David Wilson may never suit up again and the Giants could be out a first round pick. However, in whatever production the New York Football Giants may have lost on the field of play… outside the lines they gained a man that will show fanatics a journey through real GIANT trials and tribulations. David Wilson will exemplify what to do when life spits in your face and takes away your seemingly biggest gift to the world in form of injury or impossible situation.

That’s important. Too often these days, people give up, they quit, they resign, they live trapped in a world of I’ll do it tomorrow. The message David Wilson sends by saying, “Hey, don’t feel sorry for me, what’s next?”, is a very powerful one. It’s our hope at GMEN HQ that we see David Wilson beat the odds and attempt a football comeback. However, if that isn’t the case, it will still be quite special watching David Wilson progress through life as he goes on his GIANT mission to NEXT.

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