Tag: Mike Utley
FLINT, MI — Nov. 17, 1991. Sunday afternoon. Pontiac Silverdome.
The Detroit Lions were facing the Los Angeles Rams.
At 50-years-old, Mike Utley can still tell you the sequence of events from that day verbatim.
He was in his third NFL season as an offensive lineman for the Lions. Life was good.
Eddie Murray planted a big kiss on the side of Mike Utley’s face Monday.
From his wheelchair, Utley fought Murray off before he could deliver a second.
“I know he hates that,” Murray said, laughing. “But I love the guy.”
Murray, 53, one of the NFL’s most successful kickers ever, is still amazed, he says, with Utley’s courage and commitment. They were Lions teammates when Utley, an offensive guard, was paralyzed from the waist down in a game against the Los Angeles Rams at the Silverdome on Nov. 17, 1991.
Englewood’s Craig Hospital was ranked as one of the top 10 rehabilitation hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report, the hospital announced Thursday.
Craig, known for its treatment of patients with spinal cord injuries, ranked No. 7 this year by rehabilitation physicians in the United States.
Inspiration comes from places you least expect. On Friday, it was in a West Bloomfield sports memorabilia-blazed garage, when former Detroit Lions offensive guard Mike Utley was in town to talk about a bicycle tour fundraiser with proceeds going to help find a cure for paralysis.
When I think of biking, I go to places like the West Bloomfield Woods Trail Network, Proud Lake Recreation Area, Macomb Orchard Trail, or many of the trails in the Huron-Clinton Metropolitan parks in southeast Michigan.
This time of year brings an incredible group of athletes to North Central Washington, but it is not likely that you have ever heard of them by name. To get an idea of what they do, you would have to spend a day or two in a wheelchair. Seriously, you should try it some time, maybe for just a few hours. Try to go without using your legs for an entire day if you really want to know what it takes to get from point A to point B by using your arms alone. Then imagine powering yourself from Lincoln Rock Park to Rocky Reach Dam, across the river, up over Navarre Coulee, through Chelan, up to Wells Dam, and back to Lincoln Rock on a bicycle built for arms. That is just what some of the wheelchair athletes riding the Dam2Dam www.Dam2Dam.org did this weekend!
Sense of adventure, sense of humor survived crippling injury
Mike Utley went deaf in his right ear while having dinner in January. He was robbed of equilibrium and made so sick he had to seek a doctor the next day. He traded partial hearing for a nonstop fire alarm that still reverberates in his head.
This was nothing more than piling on for the former Washington State and Detroit Lions football player, left a quadriplegic nearly 17 years ago when the offensive guard suffered a spinal cord injury while slammed to the ground on a pass-blocking play.
The latest setback was another reason for Utley to feel sorry for himself, though that never happened.
Anti Tip Bars that is!
Craig Hospital has been rated every year in the Top Ten Rehabilitation Hospitals by US News and World Report since the ratings began eighteen years ago. Today, Wednesday July 16, 2008, Craig Hospital raised the bar in its rankings with the ribbon cutting ceremony of the new Mike Utley Terrain Park thanks to the generous support from the Mike Utley Foundation, the Cloverleaf Foundation, the Colorado Garden Show and supporters of Craig Hospital. A dream visualized by John Minden and the Craig Hospital Physical Therapy Department became reality today!
Mike Utley, who was the starting Right Guard for the Detroit Lions and suffered a Spinal Cord Injury in 1991; Mike did his rehabilitation at Craig Hospital in Englewood, Colorado. As you may remember, Mike flashed the crowd a “thumbs up” as he was being taken off the field. Mike is still a symbol of inspiration wherever he goes.
Recently, I was able to reach Mike Utley over the telephone while he was in Dallas awaiting a flight to Miami. At one time, Utley was a great Detroit Lions offensive lineman, until an NFL game on Nov. 17, 1991, against the Rams, when a hard hit caused a severe spinal cord injury. He became a wheelchair-using Paraplegic.
Now he heads the Mike Utley Foundation, which is working hard for a cure for spinal cord injuries by selectively funding promising research, Rehabilitation, and education programs.
“The Foundation started in 1992, just shortly after I got hurt,” said 42-year-old Utley. “At the time, I wasn’t able to transfer or feed myself, and didn’t have feeling in my hands. I had to have someone run (the Foundation) for me.”
Thumbs Up! The Mike Utley Foundation, Finding a Cure for Paralysis
The Mike Utley Foundation organizes many fundraisersthroughout the year. Without the help of sponsors andvolunteers these events would not be the success that theyare.
At the bedside of paralyzed Bills player, sheembodies can-do spirit for the long road back
She arrived at Millard Fillmore Hospital dressed in her Sunday best, which in Buffalo during autumn means a red Bills sweat shirt and jeans. Kevin Everett’s mother has been in Western New York for a full week since he suffered a spinal cord injury that threatened his life and ended his football career.
Patricia Dugas has experienced the gamut of emotions. She was upbeat and laughing Sunday, grateful for the support her son has received since he crumpled to the turf in Ralph Wilson Stadium last weekend. His hospital walls are lined with pictures and letters of encouragement from football fans and children across the country.