Notre Dame linebacker Danny Spond values every chance he gets to be on the football field.
That might sound trivial. After all, doesn't every player feel that way?
Probably so, but then again, few players have seen what Spond has seen.
The native of Littleton, Colo., was a star quarterback at Columbine High, where a school shooting took the lives of 13 people in 1999. Now a linebacker, he wears jersey No. 13 to honor those victims and has been deeply affected by the school massacre in Newtown, Conn., last month.
In August, he feared he might lose his football career when a migraine headache struck him so severely that he was unable to move parts of his body.
Now he's about to take the field with a national championship at stake.