Hey coach, I think I tore my ACL

By Colin Phan - Super Phan

Many circumstances rob the sports world of talent. In the 1970s, the NBA lost an unquantifiable amount of talent due to a cocaine fueled drug craze.

Today, the NFL loses a plethora of talent due to concussion and head trauma studies – but that's only a small part of the bigger picture. The leading culprit that denies the sports world talent is injuries.

Careers full of promise are much too often ended before they can start or abruptly put to a stop because of major and nagging injuries. Blow-out knees, back and neck injuries, horrific injuries where a bone might break through skin – you name it – I've seen it all.

One of my favorite NBA players, Brandon Roy, was a victim of a career ending injury. Roy had the potential to be an all-time great, but was forced to retire during the 2011 season due to not having much cartilage left in his knees.

It's bad enough to see that careers are taken from us as sports fans on the professional level, but when careers are taken before they have the chance to materialize, I find that all the more egregious.

I was able to speak to a friend whose career was put to an end due to injury. Coming out of high school, my friend who asked to be left anonymous, was a touted recruit to play cornerback at the next level.

He had offers on the table from several big-name programs like Boise State. But injury forced him to step away from the game of football.

"I didn't quite have the grades to accept those Division One scholarships, so I ended up having to play junior college ball," he said. "But after I finished junior college, I was getting ready to put together some tape for scouts and I got plantar fasciitis, which ended my career."

His story is one that is filled with deep regret of what could've been. A classmate of mine and a member of the Highline men's soccer team, Cody Parke, also faced the same adversity.

Parke was an up-and-coming player whose skills looked like they would land him a shot to play elsewhere after graduating from Highline. But an injury-marred season took away those prospects.

"I was injured for most of the season, and set to come back during the playoffs," Parke said. "But I ended up getting in a car crash and that was it for my season."

But for Parke, that wasn't the worst of it, as his soccer career came to an abrupt end.

"I can't run for more than two minutes without my calves burning up," Parke said. "I'm not pursuing anything in soccer anymore right now. I'm just going to school to be a firefighter."

Injuries are just like natural disasters. We can prepare and be ready for them, but there's just no way to stop them.

As sports fans, this is demoralizing to hear. Who knows if the next Michael Jordan just blew his knee out?

There's talent we'll never be able to see materialize or develop, and it's quite disheartening.

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