Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The end of V Week

Anyone who spent a minute on ESPN in the last week knows they had their inaugural V Week.

I've given to the V foundation in the past, but never often enough and I just made a donation and would invite any readers to do the same. It only takes about a minute at

The money will do some real good, and you'll feel great about doing it.

I was at NC State starting in '84 and got to see V raise the championship banner. I can't describe what a treat it was to go to games in Reynolds while he was the coach. But what was certainly a much more rare treat was the many practices I watched, either from the upper level of Reynolds, or from the balcony in the gym when they were forced to practice there.

There is even today no shortage of people who all too quickly point out Valvano's flaws, and he had plenty of flaws. But he also had enthusiams and thirst to squeeze something great out of almost every moment of his life. Somehow, that amazing drive and the personality he shared in pursuit of his dreams and desires touched people in very lasting ways. I never met him personally, but I still feel like he touched me in ways that still motivate me today. And I think a clear sign of his ability to touch and motivate people still shows in a lot of people, ranging from his players, most who have gone on to really nice success, to all of those at ESPN who worked with him. In this age of short corporate memories, especially given the fact that ESPN is now part of mega-corp Disney, Valvano's legacy and cause could have easily been long forgotten. The fact that ESPN has committed more time and resources to the V foundation this year than ever before is a clear testament to how much V touched the lives of those who knew him well.