<
>

Fans at Big House helped save man's life

After a sporting year that brought us one of the ugliest incidents involving rival fans in recent memory, it's sure nice to see a story like this.

During the second quarter of last Saturday's Notre Dame-Michigan game at the Big House, Fighting Irish fan Leo Staudacher suffered a heart attack in the stands. Staudacher's heart stopped, and the 69-year-old had to be revived by an automated electric defibrillator. He also received help from a fan who performed CPR.

"My family watched while they shocked me with the paddles," Staudacher, who was visiting Ann Arbor with his sons ages 45, 48 and 50, said in a statement released by the school. "But it was the fans and their prompt CPR that saved my life."

Staudacher was taken to a local hospital and placed in ICU, where he watched the game's wild ending.

(I'm no doctor, but should a guy who just suffered a heart attack be allowed to watch the finishes of recent Notre Dame-Michigan games?)

At least Staudacher had a sense of humor about the way things transpired on the field.

"It was great to witness an amazing match-up between two old rivals -- at least for the first quarter and half anyway," he said.

Kudos to the fans who helped Staudacher. I saw a lot of good sportsmanship last week in State College between Penn State and Alabama fans and hope the trend continues when Big Ten play rolls around.