Following a stellar career as an NFL linebacker, O. J. Brigance joined the Baltimore Ravens’ front office. But in 2007, O.J. was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis—also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease—and given only three to five years to live. As a player, he’d battled hundreds of setbacks, but none prepared him for this.
With faith and determination in his heart and his wife, Chanda, praying by his side, O.J. fought back against the debilitating disease, even as ALS robbed him of the ability to walk and speak. He kept working, smiling, and touching players’ lives all the way to the Ravens’ victory at Super Bowl XLVII in 2013—more than five years after his diagnosis.
Now, O.J. shares his incredible story, offering lessons in resilience and reflecting on the team that inspired him in turn. With insights into the Ravens’ dynamics from the best seat in the house, O.J. highlights their perseverance, confidence, and leadership, the best that sports can bring out in people.
Full of profound revelations and anecdotes, Strength of a Champion is a celebration of the human spirit from a man who left everything on the field.
O. J. Brigance is currently the senior adviser of player development for the Baltimore Ravens. He created the Brigance Brigade Foundation to raise awareness and funding for ALS research and patient services.
Peter Schrager is the senior national writer for FOXSports.com and the sports correspondent for FOX News Channel’s FOX Report Weekend. He’s the coauthor of Victor Cruz’s New York Times bestselling memoir, Out of the Blue.
“[O. J. Brigance’s] courageous fight against ALS is an inspiration to Americans.”—President Barack Obama at a White House Reception for the Baltimore Ravens
“O.J. is our greatest motivation and our greatest inspiration, and we are all blessed to be able to share in his light.”—Coach John Harbaugh, Baltimore Ravens
“[O.J.’s] strength, his outlook, and his remarkable faith serve as examples of everything we should strive for in our own lives.”—Ray Lewis, from the Foreword