Congrats, Final Four champs — Louisville, Kevin Ware

Louisville sophomore, Kevin Ware (photo, courtesy Instagram)

Full disclosure: I hadn’t paid a bit of attention to March Madness until last week when my husband, Mike, relayed events of the Louisville-Duke game. Attempting to block a shot, sophomore guard Kevin Ware landed the wrong way on his right leg, resulting in one of the most gruesome sports injuries ever to be broadcast live on television.

The break was so severe and the image so grisly — several inches of jagged bone had broken through the skin — a few players reportedly raced to nearby trash cans to vomit. Others, along with Louisville coach Rick Pitino, wiped tears from their eyes.

Ware handled the episode with an almost unreal bravery and grace, assuring teammates he’d be fine as he was taken off the court on a stretcher. Win the game, he told them. That they did. And last night, the Louisville Cardinals went on to win the tournament.

The basketball fairy tale could’ve ended beautifully right there. But one detail gives the story added poignancy. To help him through his long recovery, Ware welcomed a new dog to his life. He christened the Pit Bull pup Scar, and according to the official Louisville website and USA Today, the puppy was adopted.

Ware and Scar are settling into life together quite comfortably. “We’ve got a connection already,” Ware said at last Wednesday’s press conference. “We’re pretty much best friends.”

Kevin Ware, add your name to the list of athletes — Torrey Smith, Jarrod Cooper, Tony La Russa, Tony Gonzalez — who truly set an example. Best wishes from all of us at DogTime.