Winslow retired six years later at 30 with a bum knee and an aura of glory that just won't fade. "Not a day goes by that somebody doesn't bring up that game," he says. "It's wonderful and it's humbling to be remembered for something people see as so heroic."
A motivational speaker now, Winslow has two enduring memories from that day. One is his permanently sore shoulder. The other is a shoebox filled with pictures of kids named after him. Winslow's count was up to 129, until the author showed him a picture of his son, and made it an even 130.
Reach for a can of beer in Benirschke's fridge these days and what you will mostly find are the needles he uses to inject the drugs he hopes will save his life. "There's a chance I'll die," he says, "but we're not focusing on that." Instead, he's a spokesman on hepatitis C. Five million Americans have it, he'll tell you, but only 250,000 are being treated for it. Some people think there's a reason God gave Benirschke all these diseases. Who would handle them better?
Doctors say the virus is undetectable in his system, but he'll be tested again in six months because 65% of those who get rid of it get it back. He may need a liver transplant.
Whatever happens, Benirschke is ready for it. His wife, Mary, says, "People don't realize what you can go through."
Funny, isn't it, how much of Rolf Benirschke's life has been like that game? Up, down, joy, woe, win, lose and start all over again? Would it be asking too much for him to get one more second chance?