5/12/21: What We Can Learn From The Tragic Loss Of Colt Brennan

In the early 2000s, fragmentation in the sports/cable space was still in its infancy. You couldn’t watch SportsCenter w/o catching a highlight of the high flying Colt Brennan & the Hawaii Rainbows football team.

They were an exciting offense to follow, always putting up big numbers, & Colt & the Rainbows developed a cult following, all over the country. Colt would break the NCAA’s single season passing TD record, rank 3rd in passing TDs all-time, & was a Heisman candidate every yr he played.

Therefore, it came as no surprise that he was drafted in 2008, by Washington. What did come as a surprise was that Colt got injured his rookie yr, never got a chance to get on the field, & was released after that season, never to play a game in the NFL.

Imagine that drop – nation’s darling, breaking records, getting drafted, & then at the blink of an eye, it’s all over.

It’s easy to look at that situation & say: “Boo hoo, he received more adulation as a college student than most ppl receive in their lifetime.” But that’s not THE story here. There’s a common thread.

We ALL have had promise in something early in our lives – sports, music, science, math, debate, etc. And for many of us, we were able to do something that involved that passion. But…what also is so common – almost inevitable, is that there is a time in our life when what we SAW as a possibility, no longer is one.

I’ll be vulnerable here: I walked on to the Cornell bball team…but it wasn’t till my Sr yr, till the new coach even had walk-on try outs. Circumstances never allowed me to try out earlier in college & have a true college bball career. I still wake up from dreams 20+ yrs later, upset that I never achieved that goal. It hurts. I’ll never get a chance to play college bball again.

So for Colt, where we learn of substance abuse…of feeling like he never fulfilled his dream…of an accident that left him w TBI & more substance abuse issues, unfortunately this story is all too common. He’d tried to get into a treatment center the days before his death (fentanyl related), & there were no beds. This is all too common. We are all susceptible. All. Of. Us.

RIP, Colt.

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