Matthew Berry’s willingness to share (maybe overshare, at times) personal details from his life or observations from pop culture have helped him generate a devoted following among fantasy football fans over the years at ESPN, and going back further to his Talented Mr. Roto days.

Some readers may just scroll down to the Love/Hate picks he makes each week at various positions, determining who they should start, sit or pick from the waiver wire for their fantasy teams. But Berry has always included some opinions and storytelling that make his columns stand out from others in the fantasy football space. This week, he shared a doozy of a personal story with readers, one that should give anyone pause during the frenzy of our everyday lives.

Berry revealed that he suffered a medical episode while taping an episode of The Fantasy Show, one that he believed to be a heart attack.

And that’s when I feel tightness around my heart. You know how sometimes you get heartburn and after a moment or two, it just subsides? That’s what I initially think it is, but then it keeps going and gets more painful.

That’s a sensation which most of us hopefully haven’t experienced in our lifetimes (beyond the heartburn). Most of the time, discomfort or pain goes away, maybe even quickly. When that feeling lingers or intensifies is when it’s time to be concerned. Berry went on to explain that he stumbled, but was caught by a producer and brought to a chair. He breaks out into a cold sweat, becoming dizzy and nauseous, then passes out. Again, it’s a story no one wants to tell about him or herself. It’s certainly nothing to be laughed off.

Berry goes on to explain further experiences that no one will ideally have to endure in their lives, such as riding in the back of the ambulance and facing mortality. What’s wrong? Am I going to be OK? Suddenly, the people important to you feel even more important because you have to see them. Maybe you wonder if you’ll see them again because this is suddenly a much more serious circumstance than you’ve ever been in before.

There’s much more story to tell, and it’s worth clicking over to Berry’s column to read the rest. But we’ll go ahead and spoil the ending. Berry thankfully did not suffer a heart attack. What he did experience was triggered by stress, lack of sleep and poor diet.

Unfortunately, as with so many of us, it took a frightening medical episode to spur the changes to a healthier lifestyle and a better balance between work and life. Fortunately for Berry, he has the opportunity to make the necessary changes and dial back a bit. It’s something that perhaps we should all remember as we work ourselves crazy and miss out on some things that we should take the time to consider. Take care of yourselves and be excellent to each other, people.


About Ian Casselberry

Ian is a writer, editor, and podcaster. You can find his work at Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He's written for Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, MLive, Bleacher Report, and SB Nation.