Make the most out of second opportunities. O.J. Simpson did not, but Chris Cook should. The injured Minnesota Vikings cornerback misses football too much to make another dim-witted blunder. It was August 24, 2011 when Cook sat in jail wondering if his NFL career slipped through his fingers. The justice system gave him new life, so now it’s time to fulfill his potential.
If you were born in the 20th century, you most likely witnessed an American tragedy. On February 26, 2007, NBA point guard Shaun Livingston collapsed from a layup attempt and obliterated his left knee in what was arguably the most grotesque sports injury in United States history. Prior to the disaster, Livingston was heralded as a basketball prodigy, drawing comparisons to the multifaceted Magic Johnson. Since his axle snapped, it’s been an uphill climb to remain relevant on the court.
Athletes who suffer severe knee injuries tend to contemplate suicide. After all, a damaged joint could equate into millions of dollars in lost income. Along with the financial pain, tearing an anterior cruciate ligament (or two) can hinder an individual’s agility, balance and explosiveness. For running backs, years may pass before an NFL workhorse can replicate his performances previous to an ACL problem.
This season, Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles and Rashard Mendenhall are notable backs returning from ACL tears, and they hope to remain effective as before. We should look to history to sense the size of the mountain these ball carriers must climb to mount their comebacks.