In sports, they say that you can take nothing for granted. Those words ring true this morning for Colt McCoy, the former number one quarterback for the Texas Longhorns.
McCoy's career came to a sudden end Thursday night on the team's fifth offensive snap when he kept the ball on a QB option. If McCoy knew the option he chose meant "career over," he might have handed the ball off to his running back. Instead, McCoy slammed into Alabama defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, pinching a nerve in his shoulder and effectively ending his football career.
All it takes is an injury, just one, and your life can change. With the BCS National Championship on the line, all McCoy could do was sit back and watch as true freshman Garrett Gilbert stepped in and narrowly won the game and almost assuredly won himself the starting QB job for next season.
A four-year starter at the position, McCoy failed to accomplish his only goal: winning a national championship as the No. 1 QB for the Texas Longhorns. Sadly, with this tragic injury, that goal will never be attained.
One must wonder about the heartbreak this kid feels today. The pain of knowing there is absolutely no more football left in his lifetime to play.
To have reached the highest peak his sport could offer, to have climbed the highest of sport's mountains, to have scaled the only worthwhile heights he knew, and to walk away with nothing to show for it, well that must be eating away at his very soul.
My advice? Move on. Don't even think about it. You gave it your best and that's all you can do. Here's some more words to think about: don't go crying over spilled milk.
Take a photography class. Go backpacking through Europe. Catch up with some old friends. You've earned it.
You played your guts out and, sure, you'll never do that ever again under any circumstances, but that's no reason to stop living your life.
Look kid, I don't make the rules, I just live by them. You got that? If it were up to me, I'd start a professional football league so there were someplace for you to go after all this stuff was said and done.
But I'd be living in a dream world if I thought that were possible. So first and foremost, stop crying, pick your chin up and get back out there. Not on the football field because that's a wasteland now.
The sooner you put those images in your rear view mirror, the better. Here's a catchphrase you might want to get used to: pouring salt on an open wound. Does that sound fun to you?
I didn't think so. And if I could give you one more tip, its "say hello to computer programming" because that's where all the money is.
Good luck, Colt McCoy. I'll never see you ever again.