Jeff Vorva's Extra Point: Fire players downplay heroic act

  • Written by Jeff Vorva



The popular “Chicago Fire” television show features actors playing characters who pretend to save lives.

And if they mess up, these fine actors get a shot at doing it again. And again. And again…

On May 11, members of the Chicago Fire were involved in a life-threatening situation on live TV. And if they messed up, they didn’t get another chance. And they only had seconds to react.

The Fire was on the road playing Vancouver and in the 11th minute, Fire goalie Matt Lampson and the Whitecaps’ Masato Kudo collided.

The 6-foot-3 Lampson‘s shoulder connected hard with the 5-9 Kudo’s face and Kudo hit the ground and hit his head on the ground. On TV, it looked bad. But it was even worse than it looked.

Kudo bit his tongue and lip during the impact and blood was flowing.

Vice Sports tweeted that it was “one of the scariest hits you’ll see in soccer.’’ Sportsnet had video of the play and issued a warning that it “may be difficult to watch for some.’’  

Lampson, Joao Meira and Razvan Cocis immediately gathered around the fallen soccer player but they didn’t just stand around waiting for the trainer to come. Some swift action was taken.

"I think Joao turned him over, it was a smart move because he (Kudo) had blood in his mouth,’’ Cocis said after the game. “When I got there, I tried to put my finger in his mouth to take his tongue out so he didn't swallow it.

“His mouth was stuck so I forced him to open it and tried to keep his tongue out and then the medical staff came. I'm glad he's okay, I hope he's going to be fine."

Well, Kudo is alive but not all that fine. He suffered a fractured jaw and underwent surgery the next day.

A few days later, Kudo gave public kudos to the Fire players as he Tweeted “Thank you for saving my life” and singled out Lampson, Meira and Cocis.

But no one is patting themselves on the back in Fire camp.

“We’re brothers in the game,” Lampson said. “Credit to the guys on the field because they responded quickly and no doubt helped him. I wish him the best and credit to both organizations for handling it as well as possible."

Even Fire General Manager Nelson Rodriguez low-keyed what his troops did.

“Any player on any team would have done that in that moment,” Rodriguez said. “I don’t necessarily believe that Razvan and all the guys were any more special than any other player. That’s the code.’’

Maybe, but I don’t know if that code extends to digging into another man’s bloody mouth and rooting around seeking a tongue.

These guys reacted fast and did the right thing.

They may not think it’s a big deal, but it is.

Just ask Masato Kudo.