Good­win hopes his heart­break and loss helps oth­ers

Lodi News-Sentinel - - Sports - By Janie McCauley AP SPORTS WRITER

SANTA CLARA — The baby’s tiny left hand touches a sin­gle fin­ger on the hand of his fa­ther, 49ers wide re­ceiver Mar­quise Good­win.

It’s a heart­break­ing photo shared by the player on In­sta­gram mak­ing pub­lic the sad news that he and wife Mor­gan had lost their baby pre­ma­turely early Sun­day.

Some­how, with his wife’s urg­ing and his faith car­ry­ing him through each minute, step and snap, Good­win played in San Fran­cisco’s first win of the sea­son only hours af­ter the death of his son be­cause of what Good­win called “com­pli­ca­tions” that led to an un­ex­pected early de­liv­ery.

Af­ter the cou­ple prayed, Mor­gan talked him into tak­ing the field that af­ter­noon. And Good­win de­cided to share what he was go­ing through so no ques­tions sur­faced about what was wrong.

“I men­tally and phys­i­cally was not pre­pared to play in the game at all,” Good­win said on a con­fer­ence call Tues­day, speak­ing from home in Texas where he is with fam­ily dur­ing the team’s bye week. “I re­ally didn’t even prac­tice that week, I was just go­ing through a lot and just try­ing to get my body rested from the week be­fore and the week be­fore that. Com­ing in the game, I wasn’t re­ally in it, be­cause I had just lost my baby.”

Good­win caught an 83-yard touch­down pass from C.J. Beathard in the Nin­ers’ 31-21 vic­tory over the Gi­ants at Levi’s Sta­dium. When he scored in the sec­ond quar­ter, Good­win blew a kiss to the sky as he ap­proached the end zone, then went to his knees with hands held in prayer be­fore look­ing down at his up­raised palms with the foot­ball still tucked into his left fore­arm. Then he placed his head on the grass.

“All the pain that I was feel­ing at that time just came over me at once,” he said. “It wasn’t some­thing that was planned or any­thing. If that had been any­body who had to go through that if you had lost some­thing that you wanted more than any­thing, some­thing that you ex­pected be­cause you could see it with­out see­ing it, you would know how I felt in that sit­u­a­tion.”

He cred­ited Mor­gan’s strength with push­ing him out onto that field when she eas­ily could have said no.

“I guess she felt that God moved her to al­low me to go play and she en­cour­aged me. She raised my spir­its up and helped get ready for the game,” he said. “That’s what’s so cool about the sit­u­a­tion is my wife, how sup­port­ive she is and how en­cour­ag­ing she is, all th­ese great things that she does for me to help me go out there and play the way I did. I think it speaks more about her char­ac­ter than mine.”

Even coach Kyle Shana­han said he wouldn’t have blamed Good­win for sit­ting this one out.

A third-round draft pick taken 78th over­all by the Bills out of Texas in 2013, he’s in his first sea­son with the 49ers fol­low­ing four years in Buf­falo af­ter sign­ing a two-year con­tract in March.

He de­cided that be­ing forth­com­ing about what had hap­pened was the best op­tion.

“It would have made it (out pub­licly) any­way so why not put it out there so I could kind of nar­rate my own story in­stead of let­ting some­body else do it or peo­ple have th­ese as­sump­tions,” Good­win said. “Be­cause my wife and I had posted that we were preg­nant weeks ago, or months ago, and had we abruptly stopped and they no­ticed that she wasn’t preg­nant any­more it would have raised a lot of eye­brows and ques­tions.”

Over­whelmed with emo­tion, Good­win went straight from the hospi­tal to the team ho­tel to check in be­fore the game to ride the bus to the sta­dium. He hadn’t show­ered, was still wear­ing sweats, shar­ing with only a hand­ful of team­mates what the cou­ple was en­dur­ing.

Good­win also made a key block on an­other scor­ing play, when he laid out a de­fen­sive back and al­lowed Gar­rett Celek to get into the end zone.

Later that night, he an­nounced the loss of his baby.

Now, Good­win hopes he and Mor­gan — and their baby — can up­lift oth­ers who might be go­ing through the same thing.

“It’s been a tremen­dous amount of sup­port, peo­ple of all dif­fer­ent com­mu­ni­ties. Mor­gan and I ap­pre­ci­ate all the love,” Good­win said. “I didn’t re­al­ize shar­ing our jour­ney with this baby would gain so many peo­ple. We’ve met a lot of peo­ple that are fol­low­ing us through our jour­neys so we can maybe help peo­ple who have dealt with sim­i­lar things that we have gone through or learn things from peo­ple who have been through our sit­u­a­tion.”

Notes: San Fran­cisco signed OL Cameron Hunt to the prac­tice squad.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.