EAST LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – “Somehow he affected millions of people, millions of lives, including each one of us in this stadium today, and that’s why were here,” said grieving mother Karen Sadler.
Coach Mark Dantonio added “Number 3 will last forever in our lives, never stop, it’ll be a special number here.”
It was an emotional afternoon at Spartan Stadium today as several thousand gathered to celebrate the life of former Spartan Mike Sadler after his passing last Sunday. Sadler was always known for his quirky personality and giving nature, and today, teammates, friends, family and Spartan nation gathered to honor his life.
In a ceremony that brought back many familiar faces to East Lansing, including former players and coaches, family and friends shared stories of how Mike was always a shining light no matter the circumstance, and how his impact reached beyond the football field and the classroom, but one question remained: What would Mike Sadler have thought of today’s ceremony?
“He’d be so humbled and honored and honestly I didn’t expect anything less,” said Travis Jackson, former teammate. “How many people came out today, people who spoke, it was just an amazing testament to him, amazing, his life will live on forever into the future and he’s impacted people.”
“I think he would be very humbled, and appreciative, but also tell us everything that we did wrong,” added a smiling Mark Hollis, MSU athletic director. “Mike was just such a special young man, as a freshman I had an opportunity to pull him in my office and a friendship just grew from there, to listen to the words today I think you just get an understanding of how many people you can touch in your life without even knowing it.”
The most touching words of the afternoon may have come from Sadler’s own mother, Karen, who did not initially plan on speaking but decided to before the ceremony finished. While dealing with the loss of her son, Karen Sadler spoke with amazement of how many lives Mike touched in just 24 years.
“I lost the most incredible son in the world one week ago today, and the world lost a brilliant brilliant young man with unlimited potential,” said Karen Sadler. “A man who would have continued to make a difference, a man who would’ve continued to make the world a better place and if you know Mike you know that’s true, it would’ve happened, he was just getting started, our family has been deeply touched by the outcry of love and support for Mike, nation wide, we had no idea how many lives he’s affected. Somehow he did it though, maybe it was his wit, maybe it was his humor, maybe it was his perspective on Twitter. Maybe it was his drive, or his compassion, maybe it was his loyalty to his friends, somehow, he affected millions of people.”