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For Faneca, Back to Football, Fighting Epilepsy

Posted by Randy Lange on March 8, 2010 – 2:59 pm

Alan Faneca has a two-step plan to begin the first month of every offseason — "Rest, recuperate." But the month is up and the old redhead (with apologies to Red Barber and to Alan) is back at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center ramping it back up for his 13th NFL season and his third with the Green & White.

And that means not only getting back into football shape but also gearing up efforts for a cause that’s very important for him.

In fact, "Block Out Epilepsy" is the name of the special event Faneca is organizing to benefit Goryeb Children’s Hospital at Morristown Memorial Hospital and Goryeb Children’s Center at Overlook Hospital. He dropped by the studio to talk with my partner Eric Allen for a special segment of Jets TV that will be on the site soon.

"I have epilepsy and my younger daughter, Anabelle, has epilepsy," Faneca said. "We started talking to Goryeb Children’s Hospital and got involved with their epilepsy department about things we could do to help out."

One of the specific projects the Jets’ perennial Pro Bowl guard has in mind is the purchase of new video EEG equipment for the center, which will help make the testing of kids who’ve had seizures — sometimes lasting up to 72 hours in the hospital — less stressful for them and their parents, plus more funding for technicians to operate the new equipment.

That’s where Faneca’s fundraiser comes in. The event, which will also be attended by QB Mark Sanchez, center Nick Mangold and other Jets players, will be held April 10 at the Hanover (N.J.) Marriott on Route 10 East.

The four-hour event will have food stations, open bar and silent and live auctions, and a football for autographing will be included in the $250 ticket price. All proceeds benefit the Pediatric Epilepsy Center at Goryeb Children’s Hospital at Morristown Memorial Hospital and Goryeb Children’s Center at Overlook Hospital.

"It’s been a long journey, but one that I’m proud to talk about," said Faneca, who first discovered he had epilepsy at the age of 14 and controls his condition through medication. "There’s a stigma that comes with epilepsy, but I want to talk about it and let other people know about it, that this guy who plays football can run around and literally hit people with his head, that it’s OK, they can do things, and people shouldn’t be worried about people who have epilepsy."

For more information on "Block Out Epilepsy" or to purchase tickets, call 800-247-9580 by April 6.

As for Faneca and Football …

EA didn’t let Alan get away without chewing the fat about football, the Jets and the superlative offensive line that Faneca is preparing to help anchor for the third year. Right now the line is coping with the departure of RB Thomas Jones.

"It’s tough. Thomas is a great guy, a great competitor, a great teammate, great anything and everything you’d want to say about him," Faneca said. "To think he’s not going to be here is hard right now and he’ll be missed. You never say never and hopefully there’s a way to get him back here. But you wish him the best and he’s definitely going to be missed."

Faneca had some other thoughts on Jones and on now-second-year back Shonn Greene, whom Faneca said "got to go out there and show his skill level" as a rookie. "Now let’s do it on a weekly basis. I think he can do it."

But the great part for Faneca is being a part of an O-line that began to be recognized as one of the best, if not the best, in the game today.

"I think we’ve shown what we can do. We’ve put in the work to get there," he said. "By no means do we need to sit back and start honkin’ our horns. I don’t think that’s the group we are."

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Posted in Randy Lange | 10 Comments »

10 Responses to “For Faneca, Back to Football, Fighting Epilepsy”

  1. By Vincent on Mar 8, 2010 | Reply

    Faneca is a class act and workhorse. You never hear him complain, doesn’t make the OL ‘all about him’ and is a true team player. I have a great deal of respect for this guy and I hope when his time comes he retires as a Jet.

  2. By Tom Spicer on Mar 8, 2010 | Reply

    I think 1 of these 3 will be there for the Jets at 29 Spiller, Best or Matthews. If the Jets do not go RB in the 1st round how about Toby Gerhart in the 2nd round? Blount is another guy he is a monster & because of the issues he has had he could be there in the 3rd round for us to move up & get.

  3. By uncle joe on Mar 8, 2010 | Reply

    Ben Tate is the RB I want,check his video running in the open field head on into the Great Eric Berry,he sends Berry flying about 10 feet into another direction.There is one video when Berry does get Tate,but it is when Tate isn’t moving and being held by other defenders,the real measure is the full steam at eachother video.

  4. By scjoe on Mar 8, 2010 | Reply

    Tom Spicer, I don’t see Spiller being there at 29. Best, maybe. But I like Joe McKnight out of SC as a second round option as opposed to Gerhart, not quite as big, but he can get outside.

  5. By Ray on Mar 9, 2010 | Reply

    Spicer I don’t know about Best or Matthews but I highly doubt Spiller drops to 29. I also don’t think Golden Tate will drop that far, but if he does I would love to see him in Green & White.

  6. By Jets Fan Since '64 Tom on Mar 9, 2010 | Reply

    I’m just glad to see Jets fans dropping all this talk about TJ’s leadership (yeah, anywhere but through opposing tacklers), how much money a Leon who may never play a down again is worth, and instead getting serious about drafting an RB early this year, which is obviously the much-needed move. Now I’d like to hear more about Slauson, who seems gifted and versatile, and other young OL guys. Faneca’s been great but 13 years is close to the end for any O lineman, so who do we pick and how high?

  7. By IRISH JET on Mar 9, 2010 | Reply

    we need to trade down and draft taylor mays,he is exactly the kind of young hard hitting safety this team needs,get a receiver with the second pick,hopefully we can get adalius thomas from the pats if they cut him,with the last couple of picks we need to draft some O lineman,let them watch and see guys like faneca,and when they retire it will be a much smoother transition.i love the way this team is shapping out, i hope we can get some more pieces!

  8. By Jets Fan Since '64 Tom on Mar 10, 2010 | Reply

    Like your draft thoughts a lot, IRISH JET, I’ve been saying the same thing about OL with respect to promising young guys like Slauson. We obviously need RBs now but we can get that, DE, WR, OL, and maybe S in our 1st 5 picks now that we actually have some and won’t be giving up any more for guys like Lito. I only de-emphasize S because it seems like Rex and the brass might actually be ready to let Smith and Dig fight it out to start, which I woulda been okay with halfway through last season.

  9. By IRISH JET on Mar 10, 2010 | Reply

    thanks fan since 64,i think we might need to hold on to leon now considering jones is gone

  10. By Jets Fan Since '64 Tom on Mar 10, 2010 | Reply

    Yeah, IRISH JET, the folks crying over TJ forget we can probably afford to pay Leon for a year or maybe 2 now that we’re not carrying TJ’s pay. I like the post, I forget whose, about how much faster rookies can make it in the NFL now re the advance coaching by pros, for folks my age the way they get their hooks into kids these days is like some Brave New World. (I know a 40-yr-old single mom whose 12-yr-old has already talked to scouts!) And this is really true for RBs playing behind our O line.

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