When Steven Stamkos suffered a nasty broken tibia by crashing into the goal post in Boston earlier this month, some were reminded of one of the most gruesome injuries the sports world has ever seen; Joe Theismann's broken leg on Monday Night Football at the hands of a Lawrence Taylor sack (YouTube it if you're daring enough).
Obviously Theismann knows a thing or two about what Stamkos is going through. That's why the former quarterback is willing to help Stamkos with any advice he can dish as the Lightning star recovers from his a tough injury with a long timeframe for a recovery.
"I've become sort of the Godfather of broken legs," said Joe Theismann, a two-time Pro Bowl player with the Washington Redskins, whose career ended when his right tibia and fibula were fractured after a sack by the New York Giants' Lawrence Taylor on Nov. 18, 1985. "Any way, shape or form I can help someone get back to chase their dream, I'm more than happy to do anything I can."
"If Tampa Bay wants me to," Theismann said, "I'm more than happy."
First Theismann changed his name to rhyme with Heisman and now he's the Godfather of broken legs. Those are quite the name distinctions he has.
It's hard to see any reason why the Lightning or Stamkos wouldn't want Theismann to help. A little advice and support from somebody who has been there can never hurt. Experience is a powerful tool, particularly in a recovery from injury.
The original timetable on Stamkos' injury estimated a 3-6 month recovery period and coach Jon Cooper said he expects Stamkos will return this season. All of that has helped boost hope from those north of the border that Stammer might even be ready for the Olympics. If that's a goal for Stamkos then he can chase it and perhaps get to Sochi with his compatriots. Theismann explained that recoveries like this need to be goal-oriented.
As to those with concern about Stamkos post-injury, Theismann explained that shouldn't be an issue one bit. With a rod being put in Stamkos' leg, he won't have to worry about breaking it again. The hurdle he will have to clear is the confidence on the ice.
When the time comes, that might be the easiest part of all, it's getting through the rehab that could be the hardest, but perhaps it will be easier for Stamkos with the helping hand of Theismann.