Sometimes, the only question we can ask is, "Why?"
Today was one of those times. As the news of the death of University of Oklahoma linebacker, Austin Box, leaked across the country, fans everywhere were saddened.
Tragedies cause teams to put aside the animosity of rivalries and instead embrace the afflicted with love and comfort. There were no cheers and jeers from Austin or Stillwater as the OU community mourned in Norman; only words of encouragement and support.
We ask ourselves why someone so young and so gifted had to go so early. Box was a key figure on the Oklahoma defense and was projected to be the starting middle linebacker in the fall for the Sooners.
Plagued by injuries for most of his career, Box was as healthy as he had ever been in his days as a football player and was looking forward to being able to play a complete season.
That season will never come for Box.
We could immediately begin to analyze what Box's passing does for this Sooner team, who will replace him and how the team will respond when they open practice, and later the season on September 3.
For now, though, the only question that we want to answer in our minds is "Why?"
We can answer the realities of why he died, but we will never know the reasons behind the timing of Box's death. Some things are just not meant for our human minds to understand.
Tonight, as an OU community, we mourn the loss of one of our own. A great football player, a great friend and a great human being.
As a college football community, we mourn the loss of someone who we wish that more players were like. Humble yet driven. Intense yet gentle in spirit.
We mourn for Austin Box and just ask ourselves, "Why?"