LeBron James and the Miami Heat have to be touched by the story of the homeless Florida man who recently had half his face chewed off, telling his doctors "Go Heat!," in lieu of making a public statement.
Ronald Poppo, the 65-year-old victim of one of the most shocking crimes to cross the public consciousness of late, found some extra strength and happiness in Miami's stellar run to the 2012 NBA Finals.
According to the Miami Sun-Sentinel, Poppo has asked that the television be turned off in his hospital room, save for when the Miami Heat are playing.
He also opted to cheer on his favorite team with the simple rallying cry of "Go Heat!," when asked to make a statement on the incident.
We've seen teams rallying around causes before, but nothing quite like this. For instance, college and pro squads making deep playoff runs often find strength and extra motivation by rallying around a teammate that suffered a season-ending injury.
In Poppo's case, you would have expected him to make a public statement about the amount of pain he's in, or at least some thoughts about his attacker and reasons why this happened to him.
Instead, he took the focus off himself and got behind a basketball team.
In my view, his inspirational story should give the Miami Heat some extra motivation to get past the Oklahoma Thunder, while providing fans with something to rally around.
I would love for Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and company, to "win it for Poppo."
How this man can think about basketball - a trivial game in comparison to his life-threatening attack - is beyond me.
Less than three weeks ago, Poppo had his nose chewed off in a brutal zombie-like attack that also may have left him permanently blinded.
WPTV.com reports that he also suffered a brain injury, broke a rib, and may have been shot twice during the attack. 17 days after the incident, his forehead is raw and scabbed, chunks of skin have been sewn over his eyes and his nose is completely gone.
Poppo has many months of painful recovery treatments and multiple surgeries ahead, yet his main concern appears to be the Miami Heat winning a championship.
If a championship title by the Miami Heat would warm Poppo's heart and lift his spirits even just a tad, that's a rallying cry I think we can all get behind.