Dream deferred for Teddy Bridgewater and fans

Teddy Bridgewater sidelined for a while.
Teddy Bridgewater sidelined for a while.

So much fun watching Teddy Bridgewater in the exhibition game on Sunday, a preview of what was to come during his third season with the Minnesota Vikings.

Showcasing his skills in the brand, new $1.3 billion U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, 73,000 fans watching his every move. What a season 2016 would be for him.

Completing 12 of 16 passes for 161 yards, one for a come-from-behind touchdown in the first half in a 23-10 win over San Diego. Taking advantage of a new offensive line assembled during the off-season to protect him. Ready to take it to the next level.

Wait.

Say it’s not so the news coming out of Minneapolis on Tuesday, breaking without warning on Twitter, giving his fans no time to prepare or to accept the inevitable.

Bridgewater uncontested in a non-contact drill, backing up, looking for a receiver, planting his foot, going down immediately. Not getting up. Staying down. His teammates distraught, kneeling, some praying for him, told to go home as practice is dismissed and an ambulance carries him to a hospital.

Just as quickly, the 2016 football season is over for Teddy. His promising future on the shelf for now. Diagnosed with a dislocated left knee and a torn ACL muscle, Bridgewater is faced with serious surgery, followed by weeks and months of rehabilitation. Some inevitable uncertainty.

Really a shame, another reminder that bad things happen to good people, even the best of them. Such a genuinely nice person, fearless and determined, a role model earning the respect of friends and foes alike in the rugged National Football League.

Many University of Louisville fans switching their NFL allegiances to Teddy and Minnesota on Sundays, still holding Cards’ fans in the palm of his hands when he opposed their long-time favorites. UofL fans of the Bears became Vikings’ fans for a day, as did those who followed the Packers, the Bengals or the Titans.

“Teddy is such a great kid, everybody loves him,” said Vikings Coach Mike Zimmer. “We’re gonna grieve today and be upset about it. It’s more about our feelings for Teddy and for him as a person and getting better than it is about anything else.”

After his family, Teddy’s life revolves around football. No one who has come into contact with him has any doubt that he will be back, stronger, as determined as ever, eager to pick up where he left off.

Anas Mahmoud’s progress interrupted at Louisville


One of the best parts of the 2015-16 college basketball season has been witnessing the impressive improvement in Anas Mahmoud. He’s been a living, breathing affirmation of Rick Pitino’s ability to develop talent from young, aspiring raw material.

Anas Mahmoud 2Such a pleasure seeing him backing into, pivoting around a defender, and laying the ball gently into the basket. Occasionally making a swooping hook shot. Or sailing upwards to block a sure dunk, sending the ball into the seats. He wasn’t always successful but when he was, his awe-struck admirers would shriek with joy.

Shrieking with joy about how far Mahmoud had come,  anticipating how much more he seemed capable of improving, possibly becoming one of those rare dominant forces in the middle.

Alas, University of Louisville fans have seen the last of Anas Mahmoud for this season. Anas stepped on another player’s foot and sprained an ankle during practice on Monday. He will be in a boot and on crutches for the immediate future, missing UofL’s final six games this season.

The sophomore from Cairo, Egypt has averaged 3.2 points and 3.0 rebounds this season with 29 blocked shots, averaging 14 minutes a game during ACC action.  He scored a career-high 15 points in an unforgettable game at Georgia Tech in January.

Back to the feed table and the weight room during the off season, hopefully under Pitino’s watchful eyes.

More Bad News

Scott Long Injured Again

No expletives but some real pain here.

The University of Louisville football coaching staff has confirmed reports to WLKY-TV’s Fred Cowgill that wide receiver Scott Long suffered another serious knee injury today in practice, which probably means he is out for the season.

Long returned to action three weeks ago in the Memphis game after missing the first four games because of a pre-season injury. He had five receptions for 134 yards and two touchdowns in the win over South Florida.

The UofL roster lists Long as a junior.