I am still saddened about Deonate Cooper tearing his ACL in his right knee. I am saddened not as a fan but as a human being. This is frustrating for a young man that has been doing it right, yet still can’t find his way onto the field after two seasons. He now he enters his third, injured again.
Cooper did it right. He was a stellar athlete in high school, accepted the scholarship to the University of Washington, qualified and in Fall camp tore a ligament in his left knee. He needed surgery and after almost completely recovering he re-tore that same knee.
Now, as he faces another surgery and another season watching his friends play in the game he fell in love with, and live out the dream he is still chasing.
This is frustrating because Cooper wasn’t doing something stupid to get this injury. He wasn’t even playing another sport. What he was doing was simply practicing football. As many fans and media members have noted; he doesn’t deserve this.
I had a friend growing up that was ridiculously talented. A top wide-receiver in the state who was about to accept a scholarship from Oregon. However, he decided to show off in a pickup basketball game and he tore his ACL. Oregon rescinded the scholarship offer because of the injury. He lost his opportunity to chase his football dream because of a basketball game.
This was an accident the first time, but he did it again. He began to train in track and he even was participating as an individual at track meets all over the West Coast. I had a chance to watch him at a University of Washington track meet. And because he was an amazing athlete, he went to Olympic trials and was headed to the 2008 Summer Olympics. However, a couple weeks after the trials, he decided to have another dunk contest at a pickup basketball game.
He re-tore his ACL. At this point, he deserved it. He couldn’t keep focused on his goal. He ruined his dream twice because he wanted to show off on the basketball court.
Cooper did not do this. He recovered right, stayed smart off the field. And he was simply running a non-contact drill and he tore his ACL. It is saddening, frustrating, and discouraging. My heart truly goes out to Cooper.