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Tony Corrente officiated the Steelers vs. Eagles game in Week 5, less than a year after being diagnosed with cancer. That's amazing in and of itself, but the way the doctors were able to find it are even more jaw-dropping.
I watched the Steelers' Week 5 win over Philadelphia with SteelerBro at home of Mike and Beth. While we try to tone it down a bit more than we would if we were in a less stigmatizing environment (one in which little children weren't present), we get our fair share of jabs in at the officiating.
Sunday was particularly prominent, wondering whether the officials' rotator cuffs required ice after throwing flag after flag, openly questioning whether part of the officials' demands in their recent contract dispute was an increased presence in the broadcast.
Turns out official Tony Corrente, ironically, was saved by an in-game injury last season, and the fact he was able to be on the field Sunday is nothing short of amazing.
Sports Illustrated's Peter King wrote in his Monday Morning Quarterback column dated (as an update) Wednesday, Jan. 11, Corrente tried to intervene between Steelers' outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley and safety Ryan Mundy brawling with Ravens' offensive linemen Michael Oher and Matt Birk (scroll to the bottom of the page under the heading "Tony Corrente's Story").
In doing so, Corrente was shoved to the ground, hurting his back, butt and head in the process.
He chose Motrin over Tylenol to numb the pain after the game. Motrin, a blood-thinner, led to Corrente bleeding through his mouth when he coughed.
Upon waking up the following day, seeing blood on his pillow, he saw an ears-nose-and-throat specialist. After looking down his throat, she noticed a mass the size of a male thumb at the base of his tongue.
After undergoing Chemotherapy, Corrente is in 100 percent remission, and officiated the Steelers/Eagles game Sunday. A year earlier, Corrente had pulled aside Oher and Birk, as well as Woodley and Mundy, and let them know him getting knocked on his butt trying to break up their squabble set off a chain of events that would eventually save his life.
Find another rivalry that can boast such a thing.