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TIME OUT: INJURY
John M. Barry
October 06, 1975
Five college football players who have been sidelined, some for the entire season, discuss what it feels like: the sudden sense of vulnerability; the psychological trauma; the frustration of no longer being a part of the team
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October 06, 1975

Time Out: Injury

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Five college football players who have been sidelined, some for the entire season, discuss what it feels like: the sudden sense of vulnerability; the psychological trauma; the frustration of no longer being a part of the team

JAY MILLER, BRIGHAM YOUNG, WR
Torn knee ligaments

"You freak, you freaky thing," I said to my knee when I reinjured it. I couldn't believe it. "This is Jay Miller," I thought, "the guy who caught 100 passes in a season. The guy who was invincible, who could never be hurt." It humbles me. As a sophomore I was a hero, but last year I was hurt for most of the season and now I'm nothing. When I see someone else on the field, cutting for a pass on a healthy knee, I look at my cast, and I'm just plain envious. Football is still my dream, but now I know I'm vulnerable like the next guy. One Saturday you're leaving on a plane while the cheerleaders wave goodby, and then suddenly you're like the rest of the students.

CARL HUBBARD, AUBURN, LB
Slipped disk: separated shoulder: knee

I've undergone so much medical treatment my teammates call me the $6 Million Man. I've missed 16 games and once I even thought about quitting, but I've always come back. I attend all the meetings and prepare for a game mentally just as if I were going to play. During the game I'm on the sidelines, trying to give moral support or spot mistakes. You have to be involved. It's been tougher on me, but I've gotten more out of football because of it. I'm more invincible now than ever before. People wonder if it's worth the risk of not being able to walk again. It sure is. I've found that playing college football is the best thing in the world. No price is too great.

DAVE ZUMBACH, BOSTON COLLEGE, WR
Severely bruised kneecap

I don't know what to do. I don't even feel like part of the team anymore. I'm just hobbling on crutches, on the outside looking in. I was never a very confident person, anyway, and now the confidence football had given mc has drained. When you've been a player and all of a sudden you're not, it's a pretty shattering experience. It's affected my personality and my relationship with other people and, I'm afraid, my pro chances. I cut classes, feeling sorry for myself. That's bad because everybody else seems to feel sorry for me, too. But this thing preys on my mind. It's my senior year and I think I'm letting folks down. I feel funny even being in the locker room.

KIRK LEWIS, MICHIGAN, RG
Broken forearm

After years of building up my body I felt I had conditioned myself against injury. When my arm broke so easily, it amazed me. I wondered why it hadn't happened before. I still haven't recovered from that psychologically. The possibility of permanent damage also bothers me because I hope to be a surgeon someday. I never knew how much I liked football until I sat out our opening game against Wisconsin. Being on the sidelines made me sick in the pit of my stomach. I'll never forget that feeling. One thing I don't miss is the constant pressure and mental strain. It's like a great weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I don't have to perform.

DAVE FARMER, USC, FB
Broken leg

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