No athlete wants to be known as someone who makes excuses, but as it turns out, Florida State quarterback E.J. Manuel had a pretty good one during the 2012 season.
Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said that Manuel's mother Jackie has been receiving chemotherapy treatments for breast cancer, according to CoachingSearch.com. Manuel did not want to reveal that information publicly, Fisher said.
"He didn't want excuses," Fisher said, according to CoachingSearch.com.
Throughout that personal turmoil Manuel had a very good season, with 3,101 passing yards and 22 passing touchdowns, leading the Seminoles to an ACC title and an Orange Bowl appearance.
A loss against Florida in which Manuel had four turnovers was a tough game, but very few people knew that Manuel was struggling after seeing his mother for the Senior Day game.
"It all culminated," Fisher said. "His mama wasn't supposed to come to the Florida game, and she walked out there on the field and he hadn't seen her in eight weeks and she looked a lot different."
Fisher said he thinks Manuel's mother will be OK, which is great to hear. He said that Manuel has had to learn a tough lesson this year.
"Unfortunately, the world doesn't care. As athletes and people, you have to move on, you have to do things and you have to deal with situations in your life that are very tough," Fisher said, according to CoachingSearch.com.
We'll disagree with Fisher there. Most sports fans are able to prioritize sports, and a player dealing with his mother getting treatment for breast cancer is something normal adults would understand, and they would show plenty of compassion and support for Manuel.
We give Manuel a lot of credit for playing as well as he did this season, given the more important things on his mind.
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