The story of Jesse Sapolu could have been a sad memoir, a cautionary tale for the toughest of men.
Simply put, Sapolu risked his life to play football.
The choices he made against the reality of a heart defect could have served as a warning for others. Instead, Sapolu, a Costa Mesa resident who starred as an offensive lineman for the San Francisco 49ers, serves as an inspiration. That was his primary intent.
The Sapolu story is not sad at all. You can read about him in his new book, "I Gave My Heart to San Francisco."
These days everything seems to be happy in Sapolu's life. His beloved 49ers are in Sunday's Super Bowl XLVII playing for their sixth NFL championship against the Baltimore Ravens.
Sapolu, the 49ers alumni coordinator, left for New Orleans Thursday morning. On Thursday night, a photo of Sapolu with San Francisco Coach Jim Harbaugh was posted on his Facebook page: Jesse Sapolu's Men In The Trenches.