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Flashback: Pittsburgh athlete beats cancer, comes back to score twice on Philly

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Matthew McConaughey had it right, time is a flat circle

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

In 1993 the most talented player on the Pittsburgh Penguins returned from non-Hodgkins lymphoma and scored 2 different ways (one goal and one assist) against the Philadelphia Flyers.

In 2016 (well, Saturday to be specific) the most talented player on the Pittsburgh Panthers returned from Hodgkins lymphoma (and a torn ACL) and scored 2 different ways (one rushing TD, one receiving TD) against a team from just outside of Philadelphia, in the Villanova Wildcats.

mattmcpens16

Indeed it is.

Also, just in case you forgot, how cool was this. From Mike Lange's account of that day back in 1993:

"When you get a Philadelphia crowd to stand and cheer for Mario Lemieux and the Penguins, certainly it is [one of the great games of my career]. That's never happened before and it will probably never happen again. It was an incredible, special moment in hockey lore. You just have to know it, that rivalry and what it means to people, but on this particular day I was so moved by the people of Philadelphia, seriously, by their warmth and the humanity that we can all have. I think deep down what we go through, outside the game of hockey, the experiences and the hardships -- it was a moving thing. It was part of an aura, if you will, of what we go through, and I was duly moved to be there that night and I think everyone else was, too, including the Penguins' organization and Mario. Everyone was moved that day."

And from Joe Starkey of the Trib about today:

"My battle's already won," he [Conner] said. "Everything else is just a bonus and a reward."

Pitt won a sloppy game, 28-7, but that obviously wasn't the story here. They could have won 280-7, or lost by that score, and the story still would have been James Conner running out of that tunnel and spreading his wings like an eagle.

Go Mario, go James, go Pittsburgh.