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Morning Briefing: Tiger Woods does something special for a cancer patient

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Tiger Woods wears his green jacket and holds the winning trophy after the final round of the Masters last month.
(Matt Slocum / Associated Press)

Tiger Woods won the Masters, but he did something more important that week: He sent words of encouragement to a cancer patient.

Harold Varner III plays a lot of practice rounds with Woods on the PGA Tour. They have been friends for quite a while when Varner asked Woods if he could make a video saying a few words of encouragement to Daniel Meggs, a friend of Varner who is battling colon cancer.

“I’ve never asked him for anything,” Varner told ESPN.com. “I asked him the week of Tampa and I got it the week of the Masters. And I sent it to [Meggs], and he sent the greatest reply ever.

“He said, ‘Well, I can die now.’ We were laughing, and he was like, ‘No, man, it’s really cool. I needed this.’ ”

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Here was Woods’ message, sent to Meggs the day before the first round of the Masters:

“Hey, Daniel. I know you’re going through a difficult time. But I just want you to know that I’m pulling for you. Stay strong and keep fighting. That’s the most important thing. Never give up hope. You’re an inspiration to all of us. Just keep hanging in there, all right. Take care, dude.”

Varner said that Meggs, 29, predicted Woods would win the Masters after receiving the video.

“Then he won and I called [Meggs] and for like a good 20 seconds we didn’t say anything,” Varner said. “We just cried. It was just super awesome…. I just can’t put it into words.’'

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Please wait until your number is called

The Washington Redskins needed a quarterback, so they took Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins in the first round of last week’s NFL draft.

Haskins wore No. 7 for the Buckeyes, and is hoping to wear it for the Redskins. One problem: A prominent Redskins player wore that number already.

“I gotta talk to Mr. Theismann first before I get that number. We’ll see,” Haskins said on draft night. Haskins is referring to Joe Theismann, who led the Redskins to victory in the 1983 Super Bowl and was named NFL MVP after the 1983 season. He also wore No. 7 for Washington.

The Redskins haven’t officially retired No. 7, but they haven’t issued it to anyone since Theismann last played for them in 1985. Will he let Haskins wear the number?

“I’m anxious to sit down and talk to Dwayne about that,” Theismann said on NBC Sports’ “Redskins Talk” podcast on Monday. “I’m not opposed to it. I’m not saying yes yet, but I really want to sit down and talk to the young man and get a chance to meet him. I know he’s reached out and said he wants to ask me, so as early as I can get back into town and be able to set up an opportunity when he gets into town to be able to sit down and talk to him about it. ...

“It’s what’s inside the jersey that makes a big difference. I’ve been very honored to have the Washington Redskins not have it issued to anyone over 30-plus years, and this is the first ‘7′ that we’ve had come along, I think. I really want to sit down and have a visit with him and talk to him about it and then we’ll sort of decide going forward.”

On Wednesday, Theismann gave Haskins his blessing.

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“I just got off the phone with Dwayne just a little while ago, and I told him it was OK to wear No. 7,” Theismann told a Washington radio station. “Given him permission. Not that I feel like I needed to, but he was respectful enough to ask.”

Usually, if a player wants to wear a number that has been worn by someone else and is out of circulation or is worn by a current member of the team, they need to offer that player a gift of some kind. A nice watch or something like that. Here’s guessing Haskins did not offer Theismann an autographed picture of Lawrence Taylor.

What, too soon?


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