Allen Wilson of The Buffalo News has been battling chronic leukemia for more than three years. The longtime Buffalo sports columnist is being treated at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, where he’s awaiting a bone-marrow transplant. He was recently visited by an unexpected guest: Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio.
Del Rio was in Buffalo for a preseason game against the Bills, and when he heard about Wilson’s condition through a mutual friend, he paid Wilson a surprise visit. Bucky Gleason, a fellow reporter for The Buffalo News, said Del Rio’s gesture was much appreciated, and he thanked him in his Sunday column.
I planned to wait around for Del Rio after his news conference Saturday night to tell him how much he meant to several people, but work pulled me away. Deadlines are deadlines. What can I say?
Well, Jack, thank you for your care and class. Thank you for being one of many sports figures who visit hospitals or volunteer their time without asking for anything in return. Thank you for being much like the person you visited, a big man, a kind man, a teddy bear.
You don’t know me, but I think the world of you no matter your record. Guys like you deserve a Super Bowl. We’re rooting for something greater.
And it just a got a little dusty in here.