Dallas Cowboys staff member Rich Behm was seriously injured and left paralyzed from the waist down when the team's practice facility collapsed in May. Here are Babe Laufenberg's thoughts about the interview, the only one Behm has given since he was injured.
As with any interview, you always want to get the story right and to do justice to the subject at hand. I have always believed in fairness; always tried very hard to make sure that the subject was the story, not me doing the interview.
This story was a bit unique for me, however. I have known Rich Behm for many years, as well as his brother, Chris. Chris works in the Cowboys Television Department, and I have done many shows with Chris, both radio and television. I received the call from Chris as he was driving to the hospital the night of the accident. He was at a wedding a couple of hours away, knowing that in all likelihood his brother would never walk again. I could sense the helplessness in his voice, the anxiety, and the feeling that if he had been at the facility, maybe, just maybe, there would have been something he could have done. No matter how much reality would tell you otherwise, I think you could understand his thought process.
I think we all try to imagine how we would handle certain situations that occur in other people's lives, both tragic and triumphant. The truth is, we don't really know until we are actually confronted with the situation.
I have spoken to Rich many times since the accident, but always on the relatively superficial level, thinking -- however naively -- that, "Hey, maybe if I don't mention it, he won't know he is paralyzed."