The entire football world was shocked and sadder by the passing of quarterback Jared Lorenzen earlier this month. The passing of the man they called the Hefty Lefty, best known for his days with the Kentucky Wildcats and New York Giants, even led to a truce among bitter, in-state rivals. A group of former Louisville football players, rivals of Lorenzen’s Wildcats, have contributed several thousand dollars to help pay for the funeral costs for the 38-year-old Lorenzen.
Jamon Brown, a Louisville native who played his college ball for the Cardinals and recently signed with the Atlanta Falcons, donated $5,000 through his foundation to help pay for Lorenzen’s funeral. Chris Redman and Deion Branch, two former NFL players who also suited up for Louisville in college, also contributed an undisclosed amount of money to pay the funeral costs.
“I guess you can say he was a legend and in the state of Kentucky, and for me, it’s important to pay respect to those who came before me, whether they played for the University of Kentucky or Louisville,” explained Brown.
Obviously, the trio of Louisville players never played alongside Lorenzen in college. None of them played on the same team with him in the NFL either. But none of that mattered. Brown, Redman, and Lorenzen are all natives of Kentucky, and those ties to the Bluegrass State are more important than a rivalry between the state’s two biggest universities.
“We wanted to be an example of how, no matter if you played for the blue or the red, how important it is for us to come together and support one another, both in and out of sports,” said Brown. ”The rivalry between the schools is intense, and it’s great, but at the end of the day, all that doesn’t matter. What matters is that you remember that we’re all in this game of life together, whether you played for the blue or the red.”