New York Jets owner Woody Johnson is a well-respected NFL executive and part of the Johnson & Johnson empire. However, a tragic accident could have stopped that before it happened.
According to an excerpt from the book “Crazy Rich: Power, Scandal and Tragedy Inside the Johnson & Johnson Dynasty,” Woody almost suffered from paralysis after drunkenly falling off a bridge during his days at the University of Arizona.
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Woody was your average precocious college kid, by all accounts. He liked cutting it up with his friends, who called him “Band-Aid,” because of his family’s company or “B.J.,” which really shouldn’t be a nickname anymore.
However, it was during a trip to Tempe, where things took a near-tragic turn.
“Oh, my God, who knows what we had, but yes, we were drinking alcohol,” said Diane Vonderahe, Johnson’s girlfriend at the time. “We pulled off one of the off-ramps because we all had to go to the bathroom, and it was pitch-black outside.”
Johnson, who had been drinking, took a bad step and ended up falling about 18 feet, according to Vonderahe. He suffered a broken back and was “virtually paralyzed.” Despite being apparently told that he’d never walk again, Johnson was able to return to a normal life thanks to aggressive and intense rehabilitation.
Wow, scary stuff. Let that be a lesson, kids: Never wizz off a bridge.