Often we are asked how we came up with the concept of Legacy the School of Sport Sciences. Well the motivation was after Reginald “Reggie” Brown. A student athlete (football player) from Texas A&M University that was a NFL first round draft pick to the Detroit Lions (96′). After Reggie’s second year on the field he suffered a career ending injury. His experience lead us to create the school concept behind Legacy the School of Sport Sciences. We believe that being a player is a job, but learning about professions in the industry can create a career.
Read Reggie’s miraculous story below from writer Dave Anderson from the New York Times. And see how his experience helped shape Legacy the School of Sport Sciences.
On Dec. 21, 1997, as a second-year linebacker with the Detroit Lions, this 6-foot-2-inch first-round draft choice out of Texas A&M suddenly couldn’t turn his neck at all. Early in the fourth quarter of a 13-10 victory over the Jets in that season’s finale, he and another Lions linebacker, Antonio London, had tackled running back Adrian Murrell after a 2-yard gain.
The other players got up, but Brown didn’t. He was not only not moving, but he was also not breathing and he was unconscious. Doctors and trainers hurried to him.”It was a routine play, but somebody fell backwards on me,” he said. ”I was in the wrong position, I guess. I just remember the few seconds before I went out.”
Unconscious and unable to breathe or move, his face was turning blue. Moments earlier, the 77,624 spectators in the Pontiac Silverdome had been roaring, but now, as they and all the television viewers stared silently at what is football’s scariest scene, you could hear a tear drop.
”I stopped breathing for a minute and a half, they told me later,” Brown said.
Out there near the Jets’ 30-yard line, Dr. Terry Locke, then the Lions’ orthopedist, and Kent Falb, then their trainer, saved Brown’s life with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation that got him breathing. After an ambulance rolled onto the field, its red lights flashing, he was rushed to a Pontiac hospital.
”I was unconscious for 30 or 40 minutes,” he said. ”I didn’t come to until I was in the hospital.”
Unable to move his arms and legs, Brown feared that he might never walk again. He had sustained a bruised spinal cord that, according to Dr. Russell Nockels, created a ”complete collapse in terms” of Brown’s being able to breathe and move his limbs. But his paralysis turned out to be temporary.
The next morning, Brown had surgery at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit to fuse the first and second vertebrae in his neck.
”Two days later, I took my first steps,” he said. ”That’s when I knew that I would be able to walk without any problems.”
Kerrie Patterson, now his wife, had flown into Detroit that afternoon. Their plan was if the Jets won, thereby knocking the Lions out of the playoffs, they both would return to Texas where she was playing basketball at Texas A&M. If the Lions won to qualify for the playoffs, she would stay for a week.
”I was supposed to pick her up after the game,” Brown said. ”Instead, she came to the hospital and stayed a couple of weeks.”
Nearly three weeks later, Brown, wearing a halo-style neck brace, walked to a podium and held a news conference. Several days later, on a private jet chartered by the Lions, he and his parents returned to Texas. He spent a week at a Houston hospital in physical therapy. Two months later, he discarded the neck brace. He graduated from Texas A&M with a degree in agriculture economics in 1999.