New York Giants LB Mark Herzlich will be here shortly to take your questions!
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What was the first thing that came to your mind when you found out you were diagnosed with cancer?
I guess the first thing that came to mind was I wanted to know how soon I could get back to playing again. I'd spent so much time playing football, I wanted to get back to it. But then I was thinking about what the treatment was and would I make it.
Mark, although I am an Eagles fan, I have loved your story and what you have had to overcome. But, how hard is it playing LB with a titanium rod in your leg? Sounds really painful.
I really don't even notice the rod when I'm playing. My legs feel the same. Really to me there's no difference.
How often do you need to get check ups?
I go back and get checkups every 4 months. That's actually the reason I was late today to the chat, I just got done with a checkup, MRI, CT and all of that and everything was clear. Still cancer free.
Does watching Jimmy V's speech now have more meaning to you after your diagnosis?
Yeah, it does. When you haven't gone through it or I hadn't known anyone going through it, you don't sense the gravity of the speech. When you've been told you've been diagnosed, you know how scary it is. To have him go up there and put everything out there, you see how brave he was and how he lived his life.
Mark, I have been a fan of yours since I saw a special on you a few years ago on ESPN... You're story is amazing and inspiring... What keeps you going?
I have drive to continue success and now just stay satisfied with where I am. I've had that since I was young, to be a better person, a better man. I want to push past what other people think is possible.
Whats the feel of the locker room going into the dallas game?
Everyone's excited. We know we have our destiny in our own hands. We understand that with the past few games we've lost that these next few games are important. Dallas is a big in division rival. We have to win these games. Everyone is excited.
Mark, Congrats on your success and health! How's life in New York treating you so far? Any advice your fellow Eagle Luke Kuechly?
New York is great so far. I haven't been in the city so much, because we've been in the season. As for Luke, he needs to do whatever's best for him and his family. I've talked to him over the last few weeks. He has a decision to make. I've told him any decision he makes is a good decision. He has to do what's best for him.
Hey Mark, what was the transition like from college to the pros?
I think it's been going well. I think it's less of a physical transition as much as it is a mental transition. You have a different game plan every week. You have to be mentally sharp on the field. And physicall you need to make the plays. You've been training your body to do that since you were 10 or 11.
Do you miss being at BC?
I do miss BC. I love the school. I love the people. My teammates. But after five years, I had to move on. I definitely look back on good memories. But I'm glad to be where I'm at.
Obviously, we're deep into the football season, so you're going to have aches and pains, but how are you feeling outside of football related things?
Outside of that, I feel great. It's a long season and people say that, but it's our job and it's what we love to do. We've played 16 games so far, including preseason. It's fun. As long as the season lasts, the better.
What NFL Team did you Follow as a Kid?
Well, I followed the Eagles as a kid. I grew up outside of Philadelphia. When I became a Giant, I quickly changed alliances. So no one get worried.
Mark, what's it like to step on the field and playing for the Giants?
It's an unbelievable feeling. Every single time I hear the national anthem I get goosebumps. It's still a great feeling. A feeling of pride. I remember watching NFL Films when I was little and wanting to be those guys. I am one of them now. Dream come true.
What was it like starting your first NFL game vs your favorite team growing up?
It was awesome to be able to start against the Eagles. It could only have been better than if we won. It felt great hitting those green jerseys.
Do the dining facilities and food at the Giants complex compare to Lower at BC?
I think they're a little bit better. We don't have the cheesesteaks every night at 2 a.m., but other than that, I like it.
Mark, congrats for overcoming cancer! What do the NYG need to do in order to win Monday night in Dallas.
Well, we just need to play our best for 4 quarters and not turn the ball over. Every team strives to do that. When we've won big games this year, it's been because of that. We need to win the turnover battle, we talk about that every week. If we can do that, we'll have a good chance.
What is the Reason that you wear #58 for the New York Giants?
Well, the reason is that it was one of the only 50 numbers when I got there. When I was at BC, I got 94 assigned to me and I made it my own. I hope to do the same for 58.
Mark, Do you have any pre-game rituals?
Pregame, the night before, I have gummy bears. I don't know when or why that started, but it did in college at some point. That's become my weird tradition.
Mark, who inspires you?
Really, my family inspries me. They've raised me to be the person I am. They have done an incredible job. I'm proud of them every day. I hope to be like my father some day and have an amazing family and have kids that I love. That's my inspiration. Also, every day, I talk to or get messages from cancer survivors from all across the country. They are as inspiring as my story. We're doing this together.
Hello Mark. You are an inspiration to us all. As a former collegiate athlete, do you think having a CFB play-offs would put to much pressure on the players?
I don't think that pressure is really a problem. I think that if you're a college football player, you embrace the pressure. I don't know. I know that people want to have a declared champion and think the system is flawed with the BCS. As far as the bowl games, I had a great time at the bowl games, enjoyed meeting the other players. I don't know about picking a winner, but I do know the bowl games are enjoyed all around.
I just want to thank everyone for taking the time to talk today, to take the time to pay attention this week for Jimmy V Week and recognize all of the great that he stands for. Before he came out and said the things that he said at the ESPYS, cancer was looked at in a negative way. Now, cancer is not a four letter word. It's something that people recognize and want to support.