Thu Jun 23 06:17pm EDT
Danous Estenor may sound like the name of a character from a Tolkien novel, and he may look like a grizzly bear who could maul anyone who crosses his path. At 6-foot-3, 306 pounds, he probably could, actually. Off the field, though, the South Florida offensive lineman is more of the "gentle giant" type, more likely to channel his natural power to more productive ends — such as last February, for example, when he hulked out on a 3,500-pound car to save a man trapped underneath. From Friday's St. Petersburg Times:
Across the parking lot on that Thursday night in February, [Estenor] saw a frightening scene: a tow truck driver pinned under the rear tire of a 1990 Cadillac Seville that had lurched forward as he worked underneath it, his wife struggling in vain with two men to lift the car. […]
"I just see his legs," said Estenor, 21, a child of Haitian immigrants from Palm Beach. "The car is crushing him. He's not moving. I'm thinking, 'Oh, God, this guy is going to die.' "
"I tried to lift the car, and when I first tried, it didn't budge. I backed up. I don't know. But I felt this energy come, and I lifted it. I don't know how, but somebody pulled him from the car."
Maria Uribe had been sleeping in the cab of her husband's truck when she heard Arzola, 34, yelling "Ayudame!" — help me. The scene looked "like a horror movie … a lot of blood," she said. The Cadillac's front right tire had run over Arzola's torso and dragged him about 10 feet.
Somehow he sustained only cuts, bruises and a dislocated shoulder, which was pinned beneath the rear tire. He was back towing cars two weeks later.
Estenor's immediate response to the incident: To continue on to the cafeteria for dinner. Even teammates were skeptical of his adrenaline-fueled heroism until a few weeks later, when coach Skip Holtz brought Estenor in front of the team while he read a letter from the manager of the Bull's Den Cafe, in whose parking lot the accident occurred. Two Bull's Den employees, including the owner of the Cadillac, were attempting (unsuccessfully) to lift the car when Estenor came to the rescue.
"Ever since coach Holtz read the letter, they all say, 'Oh, where's your cape?'" he told the Times. "It's not bad. They're just making fun, but I'm glad [Holtz] let them know what happened. I always feel good when I do a good deed, to help somebody, any kind of way."
Yes, the heart, it is warmed. Now: How to recreate the same adrenaline rush when handling defensive linemen?