By Ben Brake
"91" A Bigger Loss!
I have gotten caught up in all the hype like most everybody else. I
was disappointed with the losses to Oklahoma and Texas A&M. I
changed my focus from the national title hunt to the Big 12 Championship game. I was also real happy with the wins over Iowa State and
Nebraska, then thinking nothing but the games of Missouri and the Oklahoma rematch. How great it will be to be in another big game and a
chance to redeem our selves with a win over Oklahoma to take the Big 12 Championship.
I received e-mail the other day from a reader that really changed my
focus again. This e-mail was not about the games, it wasnít about a
championship, and it wasnít about what I thought would happen with the team in the coming weeks. It was to tell me that the "91" in the
corner of the Sports Update box was a nice touch.
Anthony Bates died of a medical condition this summer and was taken
from his friends and family in a snap. He had never played in a game
for the Wildcats, but yet he has not missed one play this year, he has been in on every tackle, every touchdown, and heís a very big part of
every game. That is because every player has his jersey number "91" on his helmet and Coach Snyder has a big "91" on his headphones that
he uses to talk to the other coaches.
The Bates family will be without their loved one on Thanksgiving for
the first time. Their loss makes the Oklahoma and Texas A&M game
seem so small and almost meaningless. They will have to deal with all the memories and emotions over the next several weeks for the holiday
season. The team will also be with out their teammate and friend for the holidays as well. I bet there isnít a Wildcat player or coach that
wouldnít sacrifice the entire season just to have their teammate back. But, that is not an option.
I also believe that Anthony a former Eagle Scout would want his teammates
to go out and destroy the Tigers and the Sooners on the field,
not for him, but for themselves. He would want them to strive as hard as possible to show the nation how they can handle adversity and
succeed. They showed it in the last two games, now they just have two more and a bowl game. I canít imagine what he went through to
become an Eagle Scout, but something tells me he would have been an excellent player and teammate on the field with that type of
dedication. I would have loved to see him put his efforts in a game with his teammates. But, then again, he is out there every game and every
It is just amazing how important football or any other sport is until you think about it in comparison to a loss of a friend or a loved one.
Thank you Paul for redirecting my focus for awhile.
Have a great Wildcat day!