It's funny how things work out sometimes. You have big hopes and expectations, think you're playing it smart, put in all this effort to try to realize those hopes, and things just don't turn out. And it especially stinks in college sports, when your time to achieve your goals is so short. There are few do-overs. And when you're a senior, there are none.
Some news in the aftermath of the Wisconsin football team's victory over Illinois reminds us of that hard fact. Specifically, the news broke today that the University of Wisconsin's All-American tight end Travis Beckum, the most talented offensive player the state of Wisconsin has produced in recent memory, is done for the season. Trying to make a downfield block for running back John Clay, Beckum was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Clay fell onto Beckum's left foot as he was being tackled, bending it sidewise away from his lower leg. Travis hopped off the field, and was carted to the locker room-- broken ankle, season over, career over. A total shame.
We all know that Beckum thought about turning pro after last season, when he had a dazzling, record shattering year. But he decided against the path that Jack Ikegwuonu chose, coming back to school, trying to get stronger, get healthier, become a better blocker, more of a typical NFL tight end. I'm sure Travis had high hopes for this season-- put up numbers similar to last year's, maybe win the Mackey award, and lead the Badgers to a great season. Unfortunately, a nagging hamstring sidelined him for much of the first half of the season, the Badgers struggled both with and without him, he never really looked like himself mostly due to horrid quarterbacking, and now this. As we all learn eventually, the best laid plans go awry sometimes, Trav. From all Badger fans out there: thank you for a wonderful career, and best of luck to you.
Travis Beckum by the Numbers---
2005: Played linebacker, defensive end and special teams
2006: 61 catches, 903 yards, 5 touchdowns.
2007: 75 catches, 982 yards, 6 touchdowns.
2008: 23 catches, 264 yards, 0 touchdowns.