This morning, I was fortunate enough to enjoy breakfast with Gators great, Danny Wuerffel, who was the guest speaker at our men's breakfast series at church. Danny told us about some of his experiences at UF playing for Steve Spurrier, in New Orleans playing for Ditka, his work with Desire Street Ministries, Katrina's destruction of his home and DSM facilities and his recent health scare, fighting Guillain–Barré syndrome.
A couple stories he told after the jump:
In one of his first practices at UF, he made a poor read and threw the ball the opposite way his receiver broke for an easy INT for the safety. He said it was a complex routing system and the WR didn't run the route Danny thought he was running. He was nervous going back to the huddle, but then Spurrier said, "Don't worry, Danny, that wasn't your fault, that was my fault." So Wuerffel is thinking "Whew, Coach saw what I saw and can understand what happened." Then Spurrier continued, "It was my fault for putting you in there! Get me another quarterback over here to run this play!"
When playing for the Saints, he was was hit helmet to helmet form the side on a blitz where the LB came in blind side untouched. The LB flew mostly over him and he was still on his feet! He said he tried to look downfield but everything was black. He was then sacked and tried to get up but he couldn't see - still black. He said it was a scary moment and he thought he lost his sight. As it turned out his helmet was spun all the way around and the back was covering his eyes! When he told one of his teammates it felt like a near-death experience, the teammate asked him if he "saw the bright light." He said he actually saw a flash and then it went dark again and the teammate said "that was just your ear hole as your helmet spun around!"
When Danny was diagnosed with Guillain–Barré syndrome, he was researching it online and read about how it can paralyze your lungs. He said he woke up that night and felt he was having some trouble breathing. He went to his doctor, who ran all the tests and told him his lungs were fine and that he had a bad case of indigestion. Doctor then asked Danny how long it has been since he had a bowel movement and Danny said with all the testing it had probably been a few days. The doctor told him that was the source of his discomfort and he just needed to "take a dump." He said of all the people sending well wishes and asking what they could do and to pray for him, he said he needed their prayers for him "to take a crap.".
Following Katrina he decided to move the Desire Street Ministry (and his family) to Atlanta as a better hub to expand out to other cities. People told him "why do you want to move to Georgia? you know that people there always give Gators a hard time." He said he responded, "well, when I was playing for the University of Florida, Georgia never gave us a hard time!"
He was a great speaker and I think we can all be proud as Gators to have three guys like Spurrier, Wuerffel and Tebow as our Heisman winners and representatives of our university.