This is about to be a preachy thing to put on a sports blog, but between strong 20-something men suffering strokes and being kicked in the head--not to mention a certain dead de-canonized grandfather figure--the universe sort of commands it:
I've never met Jordan Kohout, but I've shook his hand in a way. After the 2010 win over Ohio State a 10-year-old boy came back to our tailgate with the glove of No. 91. It was disgusting, frankly--smelly and crusty from dried sweat. But the kid beamed. His dad said he hadn't stopped since midway through the fourth quarter.
I've never met Montee Ball, but I've walked his steps. The 500 block of University Avenue begins where Gorham hinges in front of a row of apartment buildings for the slightly yuppier set of college kids. At night I often opted to take the 1.5-mile trek back to my house situated two blocks from Camp Randall than follow friends to an after bar.
I never met Joe Paterno, and I never really wanted to. It'd probably be some banal encounter: Shake hand, coach it's an honor, nod head and walk away. The drippy newspaper profiles were better. He growled come to Penn Stateeeeerrrghh! in that one commercial and it was adorable.
This is your reminder that a good thing going can end at any moment for no reason whatsoever. This is your reminder that the people who deserve it don't always get a fair shake, that security may only be a construct of your own mind and that shiny things may be ersatz. Deep down you know all this, but it's worth letting it click on in the forefront of your brain on occasion like the condenser on your fridge.
Being a Wisconsin sports fans is sort of like achieving the dream of 2.5 children and a white picket fence. We're very successful and entirely too comfortable. There's an NCAA Tournament bid and and upper conference bowl every season with some highs and lows but always within a standard deviation. It's a charmed life, really, sitting around thinking the worst case scenario is becoming Iowa football.
Then reality bites.
Get well Jordan Kohout. Get well Montee Ball. This stuff just isn't funny.
Links after the jump:
Bret Bielema says Ball will be with the team for the start of camp, but whether that means he will be practicing remains to be seen.
Wisconsin has picked up Joe Schobert as a preferred walk-on safety/tailback out of Waukesha West. The young man was on his way to North Dakota before Bielema turned him around and asked him to join the team beginning with fall camp Monday. Jeff Potrykus is excited, so count me in.
Wisconsin's going shmancy jerseys for the Nebraska game.
AIRBHG just finishes the job already. This offseason has not been kind to B1G running backs as a whole.