The Deaf Claque

Because they’re worth clapping for…probably…

Oregon Football: Dennis Dixon out for the Season

By Nathan Schmitt

Star quarterback and first pick for the Heisman (even as I’m writing this, after the post-loss update) went down Thursday at Arizona with a torn ACL. Dixon will be out for the season, a truly tragic turn of events not only for University of Oregon but all of college football.

And there wasn’t a more telling moment in the stadium than watching his expression change from a kid who was home free — paydirt — to a player who was now going to have to explain to America how he felt about fading out of the Heisman Trophy race.

So how does Dixon feel: “I don’t really care about that; I never really cared about it.”

Then he talked about being a good teammate, and cheering for his friends.

It was perfect. And succinct. And telling. But after you looked around Tucson, absorbing the evening, there was one clear thought — is there really a college player worth more to his team anywhere in America?

Consider that Oregon’s beautiful offense was turned into a stumbling, sputtering mess on Thursday. Not because Arizona stopped it. But because Dixon left the field in the second quarter.

[…]

In the end, though, the kid capable of winning this game despite all the mistakes was out of uniform in the second quarter. He was ushered into the locker room. His father, Dennis Sr., followed. Inside, there was some shouting, and crying, and later, the father said, “He’s really taking it hard.”

Yet, in the second half, here was Dixon on the sideline, smiling. Cheering. Clapping on third down. He was rooting for Brady Leaf, the guy who stole Dixon’s starting job last season.

When it was done — and it feels done — Ducks coach Mike Bellotti said: ‘When a guy like that goes down, it’s very difficult. I feel bad for Dennis.’” (1)

I would just like to point out the amazing level of maturity and the equal amount of respect he deserves for how he has handled this extremely unfortunate situation.

This is truly a tragedy, no matter how you look at it. I guess in some sad way you could say “Well, it’s good for the other teams.” But is it? What good is a win against a disorganized, emotionally distraught team who is without their leader and half of their explosive offensive line? Quantitatively, it gives the other teams a better chance at winning a national title. But where is the glory, or even the respect, in winning a race against a crying kid on crutches?

Here is the list of the seven injured players i referred to:

Dennis Dixon #10

Jonathan Stewart #28 (Status questionable)

Jeremiah Johnson #24

Brian Paysinger #19

Cameron Colvin #3

John Bacon #40 (Defensive Line)

A.J. Tuitele #34 (Defensive Line) (2)

Dixon, we all wish you a quick and full recovery and thank you for the amazing season. It’s not even a question of how Oregon will do in the BCS, we just wish you and the rest of the injured players a good recovery.

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November 17, 2007 - Posted by | College Football, General Discourse, Nathan Schmitt | , , , ,

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