Herzlich tackles cancer, returns to football and now will play in a Super Bowl

Giants linebacker Mark Herzlich was sporting a Mohawk at Media Day this week.

Why not?

It was just three years ago that Herzlich had no hair. Battling cancer while a standout at Boston College, Herzlich didn't play during his junior season as he overcame the disease.

Three years later, he's not only tackled cancer and returned to football, but he also play in the Super Bowl.

"It's so special and something I never thought was actually going to happen," Herzlich explained this week. "To be here with my teammates and all these guys that I love and fought so hard with, I couldn't ask for anything better."

Herzlich was a dominant force when the Eagles beat Notre Dame in Chestnut Hill in 2008. A year later, he couldn't play against the Irish at Notre Dame Stadium. But he received for some special support from his opponents.

Local nun, Sister Barbara Anne, connected with Herzlich because she too was battling cancer. The two met up before the game and shared a special moment.

Just before kickoff, Irish coach Charlie Weis and his wife Maura presented Herzlich with a framed "Herzlich Notre Dame jersey" and a check for his foundation. Irish players thought Herzlich would despise it because after all, he was a Boston College player.

But Herzlich was touched by it then and still to this day.

"I can't really put words to it," Herzlich told NewsCenter 16 this week. "I remember in South Bend, Coach Weis was very kind to me. His family was very kind to me. It was something that it was a good connection I had with that group--even though they were our rivals, they still had my back."

Herzlich says this week is kind of like that too. Even though he plays for the Giants, he knows he still gets support from the Boston area where he played for the Eagles.


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