Sunday, September 6, 2015

Never Forget Our Fallen Warrior, Taysom Hill

Poor Taysom . . .
Yesterday was a roller coaster of emotions. And as bad as it was for me, I'm sure it was a million times worse for Taysom Hill.

Last night, I decided to join the crowd of fans at the airport to welcome the team home. Taysom & his wife were the first ones off the plane. There were probably a few hundred people in front of me in the "tunnel" through which the players were walking (although it was more like a mosh pit, if you ask me . . .stand back and let the guys breathe, people!) But I didn't even notice Taysom was coming until he was practically right in front of me. Why didn't I see him coming? Because no one was even cheering. Most people were just mumbling his name and a few people touched his arm or patted him on the back, but most people just let him walk through without a word and disappear into the parking lot.

This morning, I saw this video (credit to @DavidFiso's Periscope), which made me feel a little better, since some of the people up by the fence were cheering and clapping for him, but from where I was standing, his appearance was super anticlimactic. 

Watching Sports Center & the local news from last night and this morning, I'm surprised that Taysom's injury is still a major afterthought to the Hail Mary. Yes, the Hail Mary was beyond amazing, but the loss in that game was so much greater than the win. I understand that dwelling on injuries or other bad things is not typically a good idea, but simply saying "Oh, and by the way, Taysom's out for the season." seems like a huge disrespect to #4.

Maybe I'm being overly dramatic about all this. Maybe the tributes and rightful respect will come later. I really hope so. And don't get me wrong-- I have seen some. I've even seen a few tweets today from people who are trying to think of a way fans can honor Taysom throughout the rest of the season, and I think that's a great idea. But from the way I saw the scene at the airport play out, I'm very disappointed.

I thought he might have been in a wheelchair or something, but he was walking. His hands were full of stuff and he had headphones on and was obviously trying to smile and fight back the tears . . . But he mostly just kept his head down and avoided eye contact with everyone as he walked through the crowd. He was hardly acknowledged. It wasn't until the other players came out that the cheers really erupted. Just a few hours after his 3rd season-ending injury, it's like Taysom's already been forgotten.

I'm #TeamTaysom Forever!
I know the title of this post is especially cheesy . . . but I'm dead serious when I say that I hope we never forget who Taysom Hill really is. 

He should have received the loudest cheer of all last night . . . but he definitely didn't, and that makes me sad. We wouldn't have won that game without him. I saw one tweet this morning that said the Hail Mary has largely "numbed" the BYU fan base about Taysom's injury. I'm not numb at all about it-- I feel the pain completely, fully, and I'm sure he does, too.

I've had my fair share of rough times in life, but I can't even imagine what it would be like to work so hard for 11 months to come back from a badly broken leg. He worked his butt off and was FINALLY healthy and ready to go . . . and then it was all taken away from him again in less than half of a football game. 

Yes, we should support Tanner Mangum and get excited about the future. But let's not forget about the guy who worked his tail off to come back from 2 season-ending injuries, only to receive a 3rd, which is probably career-ending, just a few hours later. Taysom Hill is a true warrior, hero, and BYU Cougar legend.

Ok, I guess I'll get off my soapbox now . . . But not without saying THANK YOU to Taysom Hill and giving him the loudest cyber cheer I possibly can and standing ovation from my living room. He's one of the best football players and human beings that Cougar fans have had the privilege of watching play sports.

Instead of ignoring and forgetting him and "moving on", let's get behind him! Even if he never plays another down of football again, he has done enough to seal himself in the Cougar history books as one of the greatest QBs to ever play here. Never forget that THIS happened one year ago today. My heart still hurts for #4.

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