By now you've read about it somewhere. You've most likely heard from concerned Bills fans about their fallen tight end. I don't know Kevin Everett and I don't claim to be able to recognize him as a player. He was and always will be an NFL player to me, and that's all I'll ever really know about him. I can't share the same kind of anguish his family and teammates have to go through, and I would never for a second be able to imagine what it must feel like to be him right now. Hearing that you may never regain movement again is impossibly hard. All I know is that Kevin Everett has suffered a tragedy that I haven't been able to stop thinking about all day.
It could happen to anybody you know or follow from any team. It follows pro football around like a specter, whispering the names of Darryl Stingley and Mike Utley. It comes rushing in every time there's a particularly stomach turning hit on the field, the horrible feeling that the guy who isn't moving on the field may never move again. I remember rocking back and forth on my couch last year when Kevin Mathis got hurt, fearing that a guy I genuinely liked and cared about was not going to be alright. For players who are so huge and so talented that they seem invincible, the idea of paralysis, of spending the rest of a life in a wheelchair, seems like a cruel joke. A man chasing a lifelong dream, only to have them shattered by one particularly unlucky hit.
So I'm going to think about Everett, and I'm going to remember him long after his story is relegated to the sad history of injuries in the NFL. I'll remember him because of the fear I've felt for the players I've watched, and I'll remember him because of the crushed Bills fans who will have to sort through this. I'll think of him and hope he recovers and has a rich life beyond the surgery. Most of all, I'll remember Kevin Everett for what he is: a human being extraordinary enough to make it to the NFL and unlucky enough to suffer such a terrible fate.
Send your thoughts his way in the comments, and if you get the chance, be kind to a Bills fan today. They deserved it even before this.