For your essay, you need to read “Fallen Giant” by Michael Shaprio. You need to first decide if Y. A. Tittle showed true courage based on Atticus Finch’s definition of courage. Atticus says, “I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do.” The second step is to find examples of Tittle showing courage or not showing courage. The third and final step is writing your essay supporting your opinion.
Your essay needs to be one and a half pages in length and express your opinion on whether or not Y.A. Tittle illustrated true courage according to Atticus Finch’s standard. You must include quotes from the essay and textual evidence from the novel. Your essay needs to be typed and double-spaced (12-point Times New Roman font).
“Fallen Giant” By Michael Shapiro3
“A whole lifetime was over,” legendary quarterback Y.A. Tittle recalls.
The Greek poet Pindar had wonderful things to say about heroes but less about defeat. So a couple of millennia later, Dianne Tittle de Laet, herself a poet as well as a classical scholar, was left to make sense of this image of her father, the New York Giants quarterback Y. A. Tittle.
The photograph (below) captures a moment on a Sunday afternoon in Pittsburgh in September 1964. For three years, Tittle had led the Giants to the National Football League championship
On the play preceding this moment, he had thrown a screen pass that was intercepted and returned for a touchdown. He had held his arms high as he threw. John Baker, a 270pound defensive end for the Steelers, drove his helmet into Tittle’s sternum and slammed him to the turf. A fair, if brutal, hit. Tittle could not breathe.
game, only to lose each time. He had been the league’s Most Valuable Player in 1963. He was also a football ancient—38 years old—and looked it.
Still, being hurt was nothing new. Tittle had played organized football since the sixth grade in East Texas and had suffered a partially collapsed lung, a broken left hand (mercifully, he’s a righty), a crushed cheekbone, broken fingers, fractured vertebrae, separated shoulders and muscles torn so deeply they took months to heal. “Every injury I ever had in my lifetime, I could tape it,” he says. “Every injury I ever had, I could Novocain it.” Not this time; the pain he felt now was different.
An Xray revealed no broken bones. But his ribs were bruised, and the muscle was torn from his rib cage. He spent the night following the game in a hospital. And he played the following Friday.
He had lived his life refusing to give in to pain because, he recalls, “If you say something, they’re going to get the next guy to do your job, and he may do it better.” But when he returned to the game after this injury, he was not the same quarterback, as became ever more apparent as the season unfolded. The pain “made me one thing I never was,” he says. “It made me gunshy. For the first time in my life I didn’t want to get hit, because I couldn’t get up.”
If you couldn’t get up, you couldn’t play. And if you couldn’t play, he says, “You’re no place.”
The season ended. The Giants had gone 2102. Tittle retired. When he considered a comeback the following season—his injuries had healed—his wife advised him against making a fool of himself. Instead, he went into the insurance business. He entered pro football’s Hall of Fame in 1971.
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