Five plays into the BCS national championship game Texas Longhorns Quarterback Colt McCoy was knocked out of the game with a shoulder injury. He pleaded with his father and the Texas coaching staff during the game to go back in, but to no avail. McCoy missed, quite possibly, the biggest game he'll ever play in. Let's face it, highly rated college QB's these days don't often have the same success at the professional level. (Ask: Danny Weurffel, Ken Dorsey, Eric Crouch, Troy Smith, Ryan Leaf, Matt Leinart and any other of the college stars turned professional clipboard holders.)
I'm not sure I've ever felt so badly for a college athlete. Having worked in East Texas for years, I understand what football means to the lonestar state. Boys are born with a football in one hand and a playbook in the other. It is life. McCoy had lived and succeeded in that life and it lead him to this years Championship game and for him I imagine the game felt like the end of his life. He had played his who life for that game and in the end he had to watch.
In a post game interview on live television he could barely get the words out. He was shocked, sad and distraught and frankly it was in a way refreshing. Somewhere in the transition from college football to the NFL players lose that passion, they play more for the name on the back of the jersey more than the one on the front. College players, especially one playing for his hometown team, play because it's what the love and it's all they know. They play for the chance to be called Hometown U's starting quarterback.
I rooted for Colt to come back in the game; to make a triumphant return into the game and lead his team to the title. Then, to live in that moment because it would be the biggest of his life. Instead, I saw a kid on the sideline who was watching a nightmare play out in front of him and I truly felt for him.
The ups and downs in sport are what makes life so exciting, I just wish it didn't seem to ruin one young man's life in the process.
(Copyright 2010 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)