Open Letter to the TCU Student Body
I dislike Baylor sports. In fact, I despise them. I root for their teams to lose in every single sport that they play, and I likely get in more Twitter arguments with Baylor fans than anybody else I know. However, the things that I have been hearing people on TCU’s campus say about Baylor’s recently injured star quarterback Seth Russell have made me sick.
“I’m glad he got hurt, that team f—— deserved it.”
“Who cares if he got hurt? It wasn’t Boykin.”
“I wish he had just snapped his neck completely.”
In light of all that I have heard this week, this article is something of an open letter to my peers at TCU.
Listen, I understand competitive rivalry. Like I said earlier, I feel very strongly about my dislike and lack of respect for Baylor’s teams and fans. But it’s time for everybody to take a step back and remember that football is just a game. What happened to Seth Russell is not something that anybody, no matter where their sports allegiance lies, should take any joy in. When Russell damaged his cervical vertebra after taking a hit during Baylor’s game against Iowa State last Saturday, he did more than just end his season this year. There is a possibility that he will never be able to play football again, or at least not at the level that he was playing.
Seth Russell got his chance to take over the nation’s number one offensive team this year after quarterback Bryce Petty graduated last season. Russell had not disappointed to this point with his 2,104 yards passing and 29 touchdowns. So, even though Russell would have been a nightmare for TCU to try to stop, I would never wish for his season (let alone, possibly his career) to come to an end in the way that it did. This is about more than just TCU’s season and what gives the Horned Frogs’ their best chance to win this year. This is about a player’s life.
I think that TCU students need to take their cue from the TCU football team and how they have handled this situation. Coach Gary Patterson said this week, “You don’t want to ever seen things like that happen. You can have rivalries, but it still comes down to people. You don’t wish that on anybody.”
Patterson could not have said this more perfectly. Nobody dislikes that Baylor football team more than Coach P, but even he was able to step back and realize that being happy about this happening to a 21-year-old kid is disgusting. TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin also offered sympathy for Russell in a heartfelt “get well” tweet that he sent to the Baylor star. If the TCU team can offer up their support to a rival player, then the fans have no excuse to not do the same.
So, TCU students and fans, please do not rejoice in someone’s pain. Please don’t make signs at the Baylor game mocking Russell’s injury. And, please remember that football is just a game. The health of our peers is more important that success on the field.