One of the intriguing aspects of the new Tim Beckman regime at Illinois coming into the season was the way he had patterned his player management style after the competition-heavy, rewards-based style championed by one Urban Meyer.
Beckman doesn't have much else going for him at Illinois here in his first season, which is why the Illini are 2-6 and on a five-game losing streak. That losing streak has had a visible effect on Beckman, and the coach discussed it during his weekly Big Ten teleconference appearance. Here's how ESPN.com put it:
A five-game losing streak isn't the weight-loss plan Illinois coach Tim Beckman had envisioned.
"How do I look? I've lost 22 pounds," the first-year Illini boss revealed this week. "You think I like losing?"
Beckman joked Tuesday that he needed to lose the weight, and that his wife is pleased. But a rough initial campaign in Champaign seems to be taking a toll on Beckman [...].
Here's the problem: That, too, sounds a lot like Urban Meyer. The bad Urban Meyer. The one who nearly coached himself to death at Florida.
That's the road Beckman's going down by letting his job affect his health this badly. He can joke about his wife appreciating 22 lost pounds all he wants, but our guess is that his wife is actually a little less than thrilled about the condition he's in.
Stress is a killer. There's plenty here from LiveScience.com about the deleterious effects it can have on the human body. CBSNews.com has more about its link to elevated levels of a dangerous chemical in the blood. It can also ruin relationships and job prospects.
Granted, stress always comes with the job. There's no such thing as a stress-free football coach. That would be ridiculous. But stress, like everything else, needs to be managed, and if Beckman can't do that himself (signs are pointing to "no" on that one), he needs to find someone who can help.
This is a deadly, serious problem.