Retired Ravens Player O.J. Brigance Remains Inspiration to Team
Updated: Friday, August 2 2013, 10:12 PM EDT
The Ravens players, coaches, and support staff are all in New Orleans tonight and O.J. Brigance, the Director of Player Development, has also made the trip with the team.
OJ is the only Baltimore player to win a Championship Ring with the CFL and the NFL. He is an inspirational member of the team, and could be considered the "Ravens Secret Weapon."
When the Ravens won the Super Bowl in 2000, Ray Lewis and O.J. Brigance were wearing player's uniforms. In fact, O.J. made the first tackle of the game.
"I have nothing but championship memories, we just win championships"
In 2008, O.J. talked with us about his victories. The interview came just weeks after O.J. discovered he had ALS - also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. Even with the discouraging diagnosis, O.J has never let negativity play a role in his life as he has moved forward.
"There's no time for that, pitty part. Call to action," said O.J.
It has been three years since that interview and O.J says, "The journey since was diagnoses has been challenging."
By 2011, ALS had taken its toll. O.J. couldn't walk, talk, or even breathe without a machine.
His wife says with a smile, "He still has a voice, cause he uses his dynavox, trust me his mind is still strong."
Despite the obstacles, O.J. credits God and counts his blessings - a message that has never changed.
"My belief in Jesus Christ has given me the strength to face every day with purpose and passion," said O.J..
O.J. says smiles as he speaks of his time with the players, "The opportunity to be around the players inspires me to live life, an achieve all God has for me to accomplish."
It is O.J. perseverance that continues to inspire Ravens players. O.J. and his wife Chandra started a fundraising campaign called the "Brigance Brigade." Its mission is to help encourage other people living with ALS who may need equipment and support services.