I’m going to do my best to remember Sam Berns…

This Sam Berns story nearly brought tears to my eyes:

We won it for Sam! Patriots fans dedicate play-off victory to brave teen, 17, who died of rare aging disease a day before he was due to be team’s honorary captain. (Make sure you watch the video at the bottom of the story. It’s short and so unforgettable.)

And the statement by team owner Robert Kraft, who donated $500,000 to the foundation started by his parents in search of a cure, is a must read, as well:

Robert Kraft: “I loved Sam Berns and am richer for having known him. He was a special young man whose inspirational story and positive outlook on life touched my heart. I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to spend time with him and to get to know his incredible family. Together, they positively impacted the lives of people around the world in their quest to find a cure for Progeria. The HBO documentary ‘Life According to Sam’ shared his incredible story with a national audience. It was so beautifully done. It made you laugh. It also made you cry. Today, it’s the latter for all who knew Sam or learned of his story through that documentary. Earlier this week, I had extended an invitation for Sam to be the Patriots’ honorary captain for tonight’s playoff game. I was looking forward to spending more time with Sam and his family. News of his passing came as a complete surprise. It is another reminder that we can’t take anything for granted. Be sure to give your loved ones hugs and kisses and tell them how much you love them. My heart aches for his parents, Scott and Leslie, his aunt Audrey and the rest of Sam’s extended family. Words cannot express the sadness or the depth of sympathy I feel for them today.”

I think we can all learn a lot from Sam Berns, and his attitude toward life. And his Mother’s words about how we all take time for granted are spot on.

Today, I will hold my wife a little longer, write a little more, and take more time than normal to count my blessings, all in honor of Sam Berns.

Keep the faith,

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

P.S. If you enjoy fast-paced books, you just might like my works. “Sold Out” tracks the life of a legendary Marine Sniper after a CIA unit decides to kill him for reasons of national security. “Soldier On” follows the lives of several German soldiers in a depleted infantry company trying to survive the final, miserable months of World War II. And, “Little Man, and the Dixon County War” tells the uphill fight a young deputy faces after surviving three years of war only to find himself in the sights of a mighty cattle baron.

Friday NFL update: The brave, the old, and the stupid

Quick NFL update before I head out for a jog and then back for some sweaty Shaolin Kung Fu.

Topic 1:  San Francisco 49ers Running Back Frank Gore said he has no problem with the Saints bounty program, and the fact they called him out to specifically hit and injure.

“When you hear another team call your name, that means respect,” Gore said. “That’s a lot of respect, and you’re doing something right for your team. So it don’t bother me at all.”

I like Gore. Man knows how to handle his biddness.

Topic 2: The New England Patriots, one of my favorite teams, released receiver Chad Ochocinco. No reason on why, but he only caught 15 passes last year, so I’m assuming Bill Belichick figured that was reason enough.

I got to admit I loved some of Ochocinco’s antics in Cincinnati. He changed his name (from Chad Johnson) and had some hilariously touchdown routines. And if you’re playing for Cincinnati, you got to find something to laugh at. (Best of Chad Ochocinco.)

And I respect the fact he dropped that stuff to play with the Patriots. But even more so, I respect the fact Belichick kicked his ass to the curb.

I’d close my business and go work for minimum wage as a water boy to get the chance to be around Belichick’s leadership. The man’s a warrior and a general in the wrong career field.

Topic 3: No one ever said all NFL players are smart. Denver Broncos linebacker D.J. Williams takes the cake at least for this week.

Williams tweeted a photo of his team’s playbook on Friday, saying he has to “learn a new position” to his 10,000 fans. Talk about stupid.

But, of course, this is coming from a guy who’s currently serving a six-game ban for failing a performance-enhancing drug test.

Either he’s too stupid to know it’s illegal, or not able to follow instructions on how to cover up/avoid failing a drug test. Given that he thinks tweeting part of the plays is no big deal, I’m going with the former excuse.

All right, guys. Hit me back with some comments and your thoughts on this stuff. A blog’s supposed to be like an old tavern where folks discuss (and cuss) about the news. If you all don’t start yammering about this some, honest to goodness I’m going to put up another post about China, politics, and national security.

You’ve been warned.

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

P.S. Please accept the greatest gift I can give.

P.P.S. Thanks to all who continue to make my novel Little Man, and the Dixon County War a huge success! It’s gone as high as No. 16 on the Amazon UK Paid List (see here and here), landing smack dab between a Louis L’Amour and Zane Grey book. Learn more about it here.