Over the next few weeks, we’ll be looking at some of the Husky seniors who will be playing their last games as Dawgs. Although the senior class is small in numbers, I believe there are some favorites out there.
More often than not, athletes are termed as arrogant. Whether that’s the case is something that may be worth arguing, but I think we’ve all heard this at some time or another. I’m not a professional or collegiate athlete (nor will I ever be), but it stands to reason that maybe a certain level of arrogance is needed to play sports at these high levels. Sports are mental and physical games, and to be at your physical best you have to believe that you are one of the best. That doesn’t mean all of these athletes think less of the people watching them, it just means they expect a lot of themselves. Still, we see some NFL receiver spouting off on ESPN about how they’re God’s gift to the world, and most fans are turned off.
Cole Sager is possibly the least heralded player on the University of Washington football team. He came to U-Dub as an invited walk-on in 2009, the first season of the Sark era. Before that, he was a running back and linebacker for the Burlington-Edison Tigers, who he helped lead to the state playoffs his junior and senior season of high school.
After coming to Washington, Sager was immediately inserted on special teams. In 2009, he was awarded with the scout-team special-teams MVP. He also played a little bit on special teams as a freshman. He’s continued that role for each of the past 3 seasons. While he practices with the running backs, he has yet to see a carry and will probably finish his career with more tackles (12 at the moment) than rushing yards.
College football teams need players like Cole Sager. They add depth and do what you ask them to do to the best of their ability. While Sark is trying to get the overall talent level to where it needs to be, Sager has filled in admirably on special teams.
That’s not what I’ll remember Cole Sager for though. Every home game, he runs out of the tunnel with the rest of the team. He comes down to the end-zone by where we sit and prays, like a good share of the team does.
Most athletes pray on a knee and then get up and move to the sideline. While I don’t know what most athletes pray specifically, I imagine that it’s against injury, that they play their best and that God is glorified through it all. Again, that is just my best guess and I’m sure some players pray for more.
Once Sager reaches the end-zone, he takes off his helmet. He holds it in one of his hands and then he stretches out his arms towards the east and west ends of the stadium (these are the bigger portion of stands) and prays. It appears as if Sager is praying for the people in these stands. While nothing can be certain without an actual interview, this is what I choose to believe he does. The world is made up of different beliefs, religions, and ways to look at life. We tend to keep to sports here on the blog and not say much about our faith and we’re going to keep it that way. But, whether you believe in a God or not, Cole Sager is praying, to what he believes to be the most powerful thing in the universe, for the fans. That’s the opposite of arrogance. That’s selflessness.
Cole Sager will run out of the Clink’s tunnel in front of the hometown fans one more time on Saturday. He will probably line up on the kickoff team, and I sure hope he makes a tackle. But, what I know he’ll do is stand in the end zone, hands stretched out towards the bleachers and pray. Personally, I’d like to thank him for that. Good luck in whatever comes next, our prayers will be with you.