On Saturday, October 17, Jasper Howard, a cornerback for the UConn football team, spearheaded the Huskies’ defense in a 38-25 win over Louisville at Rentschler Field. Nine hours after his career-high 11 tackles and a forced fumble that halted a Louisville comeback, Howard was dead, yet another victim in our nation’s continuing saga of on-campus violence.
Lesser tragedies have decimated football teams before. Indeed, UConn’s next three games—at West Virginia, Rutgers, at Cincinnati—were heartbreaking last-minute losses.
Something happened after that—a season that could have gone sour turned into a season of heroes. It started with an overtime victory at Notre Dame, which UConn coach Randy Edsall called the biggest win in the history of the university’s football program.
In its last two games, UConn demolished Syracuse and—in drama befitting such a season—defeated South Florida on a last-second field goal. The Huskies will try to win one more for Jasper Howard when they play South Carolina at the Jan. 2 Papajohns.com Bowl in Birmingham, Alabama.
What are heroes made of?
The cells and tissue in the human body renew themselves so quickly that we have new skin every 30 days. Even more surprisingly, we have a new skeleton every six months. Change isn’t just inevitable—it’s always happening, day by day, hour by hour.
When we understand that nothing stays the same—not even our skeleton—we’re better prepared to cope with potentially devastating changes, such as the loss of a loved one.
When a change in your life seems more than you can manage, or when change is terrifying, take heart: Even heroes feel afraid. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer.”
What are heroes made of? They’re made of the same cells and tissue as the rest of us. This New Year we’re all Huskies: Be a hero today to someone who needs you.
It only takes five minutes.
Share your story
Are you dealing with the loss of a loved one this New Year? Share your grief with us so that we might also share in your healing.