Peter Schrager On O.J. Brigance And His Book ‘Strength Of A Champion’
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Peter Schrager is a senior NFL writer for FoxSports.com and is the national sports correspondent for Fox Report Weekend. He also co-authored the book “Strength of a Champion: Finding Faith and Fortitude Through Adversity.”
Peter Schrager joined Ed and Steve Tuesday morning to talk about his book and O.J. Brigance.
Steve asks: Thoughts on the Ravens sitting at 3-4…
Peter: Terrell Suggs called it a state of emergency but I think it’s a little soon for that. Don’t think there is a reason to hit panic button yet. May not win division, but the AFC Wild Card scene is wide open.
Ed: Talk about O.J. and how he broke news.
Peter: Billick said in 2007 O.J. was a rising star in the front office of the Ravens. At training camp, O.J. tells Brian that they need to sit down and with a smile on his face says he has this amazing opportunity. He told him that he had been diagnosed with ALS, and God has given him a platform to raise awareness about a diseases that not many people know much about.
Steve: How important was O.J.’s presence at the Super Bowl?
Peter: After AFC Championship Game, O,J. and his wife go back to Baltimore and he is not feeling well. So they took him to the emergency room and the diet he was on, that was high in cholesterol because he had lost so much weight, he had developed diabetes. As late as Saturday they were worried that he would not make it to the Super Bowl. Without anyone knowing, Steve Bisciotti got a private jet to take him to the team hotel straight from the hospital and he writes a speech for the team while on the jet. He gives the speech before the game, and Harbaugh said that he had no doubt they would win after O.J. gave that speech.
Ed: What was it like for him deliver that speech?
Peter: He uses an automation device, and he uses his eyes like lasers to spell out words. This speech was about 500 words so it took him a little while. He said he had this vision that not only they would win, but he would walk again.
Steve: Ray Lewis was out for a while last year. Who was the first person he told he was going to retire?
Peter: While he was training and rehabbing he was not sure he would make it but everyday he woke up to a message from O.J. telling him he could do it. He told O.J. first that it was time and O.J. said if it’s time then let’s go out as champions.