Pretty much anyone old enough to remember -- and even those not old enough, like me, who have seen the horrifying replays over and over and over again -- flashed back Sunday to Joe Theismann's broken leg when watching Louisville guard Kevin Ware endure his gruesome injury against Duke.
Theismann, the former Notre Dame and Washington Redskins quarterback who famously suffered the injury in a 1985 "Monday Night Football" game against the New York Giants, saw Ware go down and took to Twitter.
Theismann told the NFL Network on Monday that he had exchanged texts with Ware, who had surgery Sunday night to re-set a broken bone in his right leg and had a rod inserted into his tibia. Ware is expected to accompany the Cardinals on Wednesday to his hometown of Atlanta, the site of the Final Four.
"I just told [Ware], anything he needed, I'd be there to help him with anything at any point in time," Theismann said. "There aren't a lot of us that have gone through this and fortunately it's a very small fraternity of people that have experienced what this young man has experienced or what [Tennessee Titans kick returner] Marc [Mariani] had or what I had."
Theismann said that watching Ware's injury made him "sick to my stomach."
"I plan on communicating with him a lot over the next periods of time. There's two elements to rehabilitation and there's the injury that heals & and then there's the emotional aspect of it," Theismann said. "The emotional part of it is where I think I can maybe help walk him through it. I can tell him everything he's going to feel, I can tell him everything that he's going to go through emotionally."
Theismann said that with medical advances, Ware's healing process will be quicker and that the guard will "be right back on the court in a year from now."
Theismann's 12-year NFL career ended with that infamous hit from linebackers Harry Carson and Lawrence Taylor, which resulted in a compound fracture of the tibia and a shattered fibula.