Commentary

Pain management

A teammate's injury can hurt everyone around him too

Originally Published: October 21, 2009
By Alyssa Roenigk | ESPN The Magazine
Getty ImagesThe concussion sustained by Tim Tebow had Florida scrambling to make sense of it all.

This article appears in the Nov. 2 issue of ESPN The Magazine

On Sept. 28, the USC football team lost its voice. That Monday morning, a barbell loaded with 275 pounds slipped from the hands of senior tailback Stafon Johnson, landed on his throat and crushed his voice box. The next Saturday, as USC prepared to run onto the field to face the Cal Bears, the quiet of reality hit them -- Johnson wasn't there. "Staf's our Hype Man," says senior wide receiver Damian Williams. "He gets us going before games and at halftime. That first game without him was tough. Our leader was missing." The Trojans were forced to quickly learn a valuable lesson: When a teammate is injured, the whole team suffers.

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Alyssa Roenigk

ESPN The Magazine senior writer
Alyssa Roenigk is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com whose assignments covering action sports, Olympics and football have taken her to six continents and caused her to commit countless acts of recklessness. In 2012, she joined the X Games TV broadcast team and ordered additional pages for her passport. Follow her on Twitter at @espn_alyssa.