Just about anyone that watched Jim Kelly play or knew him off the field was aware of his individual toughness. It’s that toughness that ESPN football anchor Chris Berman believes will carry him through his battle with cancer.
“Jim is one of the toughest hombres that we’ve ever met,” said Berman in attendance at Kelly’s annual golf tournament in Batavia. “Once again he’s being asked to be really tough. He’s got a lot of support from a lot of friends and people that love him. He called me last week and said he had some news and he shared it. So I felt kind of odd coming up to the golf tournament. I said I could just come up and spend some time with you. He said, ‘Are you kidding this is going to be the best golf tournament we’ve had.’ That’s Jim Kelly.”
Berman talked to Kelly about his upcoming surgery.
“I guess surgery is on Friday and he’s hopeful that they’ll get what they need to get,” said Berman. “And he’s got a whole community of Western New York and far beyond that will be not only rooting for him, but hugging him in the right way.”
Knowing that Kelly has had back surgery, double hernia surgery and neck surgery in the last three years and the Kelly family of course lost Hunter in 2005 to Krabbe leukodystrophy has Berman feeling that the Kelly family doesn’t deserve this too.
“The list is long of things and he and his family have had to face,” he said. “I don’t know that it’s very fair, but unfortunately life is not as we all know.”
In a way Berman thought it was positive that Kelly had his former teammates and friends with him at his annual golf tournament when he announced that he had cancer.
“I think he gave some thought a couple of weeks ago that maybe with everybody around it’ll be like a group… it’ll be like being in a huddle with his teammates,” said Berman. “With 300 people here and everybody else, I think he wants it out so there’s no question. He doesn’t want it out there for sympathy. He wants it out there for support. He wants it out there so that there’s… so that they’re only moving forward. There’s no speculation. Even he can use a helping hand and there are a lot of them today.”
Tags: Chris Berman, Jim Kelly
Posted in Inside the Bills