A father's story of love, fate and reconciliation
as seen in The Rocky Mountain News
November 14, 2003
Written by Patti Thorn, Books Editor
It's been nearly 20 years since University of Colorado
tight end Eddie Reinhardt took a hit on the football
field that sent him into a coma, fighting for his
Initially confined to a wheelchair, unable to speak,
the star player has since endured years of therapy to
overcome his injury.
It's the stuff of stories, to be sure.
But it's not Eddie who finally got around to writing
it. Rather, his father, Coloradan Floyd Edward
Reinhardt, has penned the story - as much about his
own life as his son's accident.
Floyd Edward's book is titled You're OK Kid! The
Search for a Father's Love (Littleton Publishing
Company, $14.95). In it, he recounts his feelings the
day of Eddie's injury, which occurred in Oregon, in
Autzen Stadium, in 1984. Rushing to his son's bedside,
he found himself unexpectedly confronting his past.
Years before, the author had testified against his own
father in a divorce hearing - a proceeding that took
place, ironically, about a mile from Autzen Stadium.
At that time, Floyd Edward was 19, his father, 51.
Strangely enough, at the time of Eddie's injury, Eddie
was 19, Floyd Edward was 51.
To make matters even more coincidental, Floyd Edward
had been contemplating divorce from Eddie's mother
when his son was hurt.
"Talk about fate and destiny," Floyd Edward once said.
"That had meaning for me."
He began to rethink his life and his commitment to his
Floyd Edward and his wife have since reconciled, and
Floyd Edward also eventually reconnected with his own
As you might guess, his book is about family, faith
and the importance of fathers.
No doubt it's also about the haphazard way we come to
life's epiphanies. As the author learned in the most
unwelcome way that September day: A terrible blow can
lay you low. But occasionally - if you're very lucky -
it can also bring you to your senses.
The Rocky Mountain News
Photo: Rocky Mountain News © 1998
Eddie Reinhardt and his father Floyd Edward Reinhardt,
depicted in a photo taken in 1985, one year after a
football injury sent Eddie into a coma at age 19.