Michigan fans show true colors

September, 16, 2011
9/16/11
11:16
AM CT
A tip of the cap to the fans in Ann Arbor, Mich. You got that, Irish fans?

Seriously. In the midst of their team's first-ever home night game, just look at how they treated one of your own during Saturday's 35-31 Michigan win.

According to the Associated Press, 69-year-old Notre Dame fan Leo Staudacher suffered a heart attack during the second quarter of last weekend's game. One nearby fan performed CPR while others called for medical help.
"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, from Bay City, Mich., even made it to the ICU of the University of Michigan's Health System's Cardiovascular Center in time to watch the ending of the game.
"I saw the last two touchdowns from the ICU unit," Staudacher said. "It was great to witness an amazing match-up between two old rivals -- at least for the first quarter and half anyway."

As someone who has had open-heart surgery and has had several chest issues myself, I can't say those final 72 seconds would be the best medicine for someone whose heart just stopped. Especially not if your team came out on the losing end of a nail-biter.

Nevertheless, it's great to see Staudacher is apparently doing just fine. And, in the big picture, to see fans of rival teams coming together in the heat of the moment to let sanity and helping others trump all.

Matt Fortuna | email

College Football

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