I’ll be honest, I don’t really want to write this. I don’t really even want to bring it up. Death is a topic for other blogs with other writers, but I did feel that, at least for our core readers, I should help keep you aware.
We all know about former Titans assistant Mike Heimerdinger (pictured), who was diagnosed with cancer last season. It’s a sad story, but apparently it can have a happy ending. Unfortunately, that’s not the way life is playing out for Tom Martinez. Do you know who that is? He’s the man that made Tom Brady.
Real quick on Heimerdinger, Jim Wyatt of the Tennesseean came through again with another great write-up. I suggest you read it, here’s a few quotes:
Heimerdinger hasn’t lost his sense of humor. He laughed when discussing his golf game. And while the event in his name was touching, he hoped it wasn’t too much trouble for organizers.
“We’ve had time to spend together this offseason, and we have done so,” Fisher said. “He is extremely courageous. He is fighting it and he is going to win it, but it hasn’t been easy. He still has a lot of work ahead of him.”
“I plan on going back to work eventually,” he said with a smile. “I hope Fisher doesn’t forget me if he gets back into it, and if not, then I hope I have a good enough name that somebody will hire me.”
According to an article written by Doug Farrar on Yahoo! Sports, Tom Brady’s football mentor for “more than a quarter century” has been given one month to live.
Known in recent years as “The Quarterback Whisperer,” Martinez won more than 1,100 combined games in three different sports at the College of San Mateo, serving as a coach for football, women’s basketball and softball. He has worked with Brady, who grew up in San Mateo, for 25 years and had a training session with the future Hall of Famer just recently.
It’s a really sad situation. I like to think of impact upon people. Who has impact on me? Who do I impact, and from them, who do they go on to impact because of me? Obviously, I’m operating on a much smaller scale than Coach Martinez. We all are, but the coach definitely gives us a way to look at things. Who would of known the eventual impact Martinez would have on the NFL when he started coaching softball to two girls whose brother was some kid named Tom Brady. Small world, right?
Here is a quote from Sports Illustrated’s Peter King in this week’s Monday Morning Quarterback:
“Last winter, before the draft, Iowa prospect Ricky Stanzi spent two long weekends at the Martinez house in San Jose. “The first night I flew out, I got to their home late, but Tom (Martinez) started showing me DVDs right away, showing me the proper mechanics and telling me what we were going to do,” Stanzi told me Sunday night. “It was amazing. We stayed up ’til 3 in the morning. What passion he has.”
King had another great quote from Stanzi, now of the Kansas City Chiefs:
“It’s sad,” Stanzi said, “but what he would want is for me to not only learn from him myself but pass it on to others. I will. This is a man who didn’t even know me, and he took me in like a son and taught me everything he knew for a short time — and had a big impact on me. I am so grateful just to have had the chance to be with him. I won’t forget it.”
There it is. Impact.
There’s still a chance things work out for Coach Martinez. According to King, his kidneys are failing and he needs a transplant. Farrar mentioned that his diabetes was the root cause. Martinez’s daughter, once again this in King’s MMQB–please read it, mentioned on facebook that the coach had a week to a month to live.
Brady is holding out hope and so are we here on the site. Thoughts and prayers are with the family as they go through this time.