SOMETHING FOR JOEY
The title of my book is, Something for Joey. The author is Richard E. Peck. The theme of the book is hope and confidence. Joey had leukemia and there were multiple times where joey could have died. He was in a coma for a while. His family wasn’t sure if he would live for another year. There was a time were Joey had chicken pox and he almost didn’t survive. Being a hero for many people can be one thing, but being a hero for you family, or brother can be a life changing experience
At the Heisman Memorial Trophy dinner, John Cappelletti touched the hearts of many when he dedicated his 1973 Heisman Trophy to his 11-year-old brother, Joey, who was suffering from leukemia. Joseph, is very ill he has leukemia.’ If I can dedicate this trophy to him tonight and give him a couple of days of happiness, this is worth everything.” “I think a lot of people think that I go through a lot on Saturdays and during the week as most athletes do, You get the bumps and bruises and it is a battle on the field. For me it is on Saturdays and in the fall. For my brother it is all year, and it is a battle that won’t go away. He has to put up with it for the rest of his life. ” Two of Johns quotes at the Heisman dinner. The first Heisman Trophy winner at Penn State.
Cappy grew out of a childhood handicap of constantly tripping when walking and running. He had to get over the pain of a thigh muscle bruise suffered in preseason practice in the summer of 1973. His leg taped tightly every Saturday afternoon. He went on to become only the third person in Penn State football history to gain over 1,000 yards in a season. With 1,117 yards rushing in 1972 and 1,522 in 1973 Cappelletti became the first Penn State player to rush for more than 1,000 yards in each of two seasons. Working his way up to be Heisman-like, Cappy spent his sophomore season at Penn State as a defensive back. As a powerful 6-foot-1, 205-pound deep-set tailback, Cappelletti led Penn State to another undefeated season in 1973. He won the Heisman Trophy after a season of 1,522 yards rushing and 19 touchdowns with more than 200 yards rushing in each of Penn State’s last three regular season games. This gave the Nittany Lions of a spot in the Orange Bowl against Louisiana State. Penn State won the New Year’s night game, 16-9, Cappy played with a sprained ankle he suffered in practice a few days before the game. With a bad ankle and a wet field, Cappy gained 50 yards and scored one touchdown. Bowl games were a jinx for Cappy. A year before he missed the Dec. 31 1972, Sugar Bowl game against Oklahoma because he was too sick with the flu and had a 102- degree temperature at gametime. Penn State lost that game, 14-0. The other loss was against Tennessee in Penn State’s 1972 opener. Penn State was 22-2 with Cappy at tailback.
Cappy went on to a good professional football career with the Los Angeles Rams and the San Diego Chargers. He served as a fullback in the NFL, blocking and carrying the ball. He started his rookie pro season in 1974 behind running star, Lawrence McCutcheon. Then at San Diego he was a running back. Injuries and illness also interfered with his pro career. Cappelletti married his highschool sweetheart, Betty Berry. They have four sons. He played 10 years in the NFL. Cappelletti retired from football and went into private business in California. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1993. Through all of his success he has remained rather humble about it all. His famous Heisman Trophy acceptance speech that remains his primary legacy. His speech was so touching that CBS-TV aired a two-hour movie entitled, “Something for Joey.”
John wanted to make his brother happy and do everything he could to be a role model to him. If John never did any of this for joey, would he have made it this long. Would Joey have been able to push through the pain without the presence of his brother and the love and support. John was more than just a great player but he was also a great role model and supporter for his brother. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys sports and not only sports, but inspirational books.