Dennis Dixon wasn't even the starting quarterback at the end of last season for the Oregon Ducks. He was berated by Mike Bellotti over the summer for playing rookie ball in the Atlanta Braves system rather than training for the 2007 season. Then, he emerged as a Heisman frontrunner and all-around ridiculous athlete as the 2007 season unfolded.
On November 3 against our Sun Devils, he got (what we thought was) a little bit banged up but still led the Ducks to a stirring 35-23 win over Arizona State, cementing the team at the time as a national championship front runner. This past Thursday, we saw Dixon lead his devastating offense over UA for about a quarter (including the TD pictured above) before he bent his knee 90 degrees.
The injury has been diagnosed as a complete tear of the ACL in his right knee.
AN ACL HE COMPLETELY TORE TWO WEEKS AGO AGAINST ARIZONA STATE.
Let that sink in for a minute. The Register-Guard's Rob Moseley, one of my favorite writers in the Pac-10, reported this weekend that Dixon tore the ligament early in the game at Autzen against the Sun Devils. He then convinced trainers to sweep the major injury under the rug and let him continue to play. They hid the injury from the public and his teammates.
He was the catalyst in the ASU win and if the knee had held up, I'm of the opinion that the Ducks would have probably put up 50 and beaten the Wildcats.
I'm sure there will be some scrutiny of the Oregon training staff from keeping the injury mum. Realistically, it's not like they were jsut covering up a sprain or a bruise or something. It was a complete tear of one of the ligaments that, you know, keeps the knee together.
But you have to admire the guts and...well...insert your own term here...that Dixon had. That's the definition of team before individual, something we don't see in sports enough anymore.