In a college football season that's already seen Eric LeGrand paralyzed at Rutgers and Mississippi State defensive end Nick Bell pass away at age 20 after battling cancer, maybe we should be thankful the terrible news today regarding Syracuse punter Rob Long isn't worse already:
[Long] will not participate in the 2010 New Era Pinstripe Bowl due to surgery to remove a benign brain tumor. Long notified the Syracuse University sports medicine staff that he had been experiencing headaches for the past several weeks. An MRI performed on December 2, 2010 revealed the benign tumor that will require imminent surgery.Long will, obviously, miss the practices leading up to the bowl as well, and as a senior, his Orange career has come to an end. One of the many shames in this situation is that he will not be able to participate in what would have been the only bowl game of his and his fellow Syracuse seniors' careers. And however badly he'll be missed on the punting unit -- at 43.3 yards an attempt, he will go down ranked second in school history in punting average -- his absence will be felt even moreso in the locker room, where Long is a captain, popular teammate, and longtime 'Cuse fan favorite. (Syracuse blogger Sean Keeley writes that there's "probably some truth " to the idea that Long has been the team's MVP over the past few years.)
But clearly nothing football-related matters a bit next to a full recovery for Long from his upcoming surgery. The College Football Blog 's thoughts go with him as we wish him the speediest recovery possible.