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Mark Asper: Choking Victim Downplaying Oregon Lineman's Heroics Is Shameful

SEATTLE - OCTOBER 24:  Wide receiver D.J. Davis #10 of the Oregon Ducks celebrates with Mark Asper #79 after scoring a touchdown against the Washington Huskies on October 24, 2009 at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington. The Ducks defeated the Huskies 43-19. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
Kyle VassaloFeatured ColumnistDecember 29, 2011

Oregon offensive lineman Mark Asper saved a choking man's life at a restaurant in LA. While many news outlets are quick to praise Asper, dubbing him a life saver, the choking victim is not as quick to do so.

Asper, a former Eagle scout, took action and performed the Heimlich maneuver on a man who was choking. This heroic act has rightfully garnered him praise. However, Paul Diamond—the man he saved—had this to say, according to Melissa Rohlin of the LA Times.

Mr. Asper came and did a proper Heimlich bearhug and I coughed the meat up. The posts that say he saved my life are exaggerating. But he did a nice thing and did it well, and I’m quite grateful. Not a big deal.

Not a big deal? Diamond serves up a bit of disingenuous praise, but it's almost bizarre how he's trying to downplay the event. Asper's actions, in particular.

Diamond is very fortunate that Oregon was playing in the Rose Bowl and that Asper just happened to be in the same restaurant.

In the video, Asper mentions that the man he saved mentioned that his sunglasses were broken in the life-saving act. He also says the man said he would have sued him if what he did didn't work.

He could have been joking, but he doesn't seem eternally grateful by any means. Asper is still getting praise from the media, even if the man he saved doesn't see this as a big deal.

Asper is 6'7" and can squat 500 pounds. He's a senior and he's about to play in the Rose Bowl. He can add "hero" to his list of accolades, regardless of the reluctance of some to give him that designation.

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