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Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Brandon Cox is tougher than meets the eye - ESPN The Magazine: "Don't cringe for Brandon Cox. He has chosen this fate. He knows the cost of one more tick of the clock, but you don't waste opportunities like this, nine yards from paydirt. So he slides out of the pocket, eyes focused downfield, and sidesteps an onslaught. At the last second, he lets the ball fly, then is promptly crumpled under a 600-pound train. Two LSU defensive tackles hammer him, one high, one low. Cox can't get to his feet. Pressing his head against the ground, he pushes himself to his knees, Still wincing, he peels off his helmet, then pounds it over and over into the turf before rolling onto his back. His boyish face is twisted in rage. With 4:28 left in the half, in the most important game of his collegiate career, Cox lies prone at the left hashmark of a hushed Jordan-Hare Stadium. This is it for me. The thought is heartbreaking, after all he has overcome to get here. On the Auburn sideline, his teammates join hands. Come on, Brandon, get up. They pray because they need him more than ever, locked in a scoreless war that could kill a chance at the national title just three weeks into the season. And they pray because they know what he has been through. Huddled on the field, the starting line echoes the plea. Please, God, let him be okay. Ten rows behind the bench, Cox's weeping mother fights the urge to run onto the field. It's not worth it. I wish he didn't even play football."