If we read tomorrow that Stanford forward Andy Brown bought a winning lottery ticket, we wouldn’t be surprised. Or maybe some other good fortune awaits him. Perhaps he’ll be discovered by Martin Scorcese during a drama class. Maybe he’ll bump into someone like Amy Adams or the girl who plays Sloan from Entourage at a Palo Alto coffee shop and they’ll find him irresistible.
You see, at some point soon, Andy Brown’s luck has to change. When it does, we hope we’re standing right next to him.
We read over the weekend that Brown will miss the 2010-11 basketball season because of a torn ACL in his left knee. Before you refresh the page, we’ll tell you that this is not a recycled story from last year. He tore that same ligament in that same knee on the first day of practice last season, forcing him to take a medical redshirt for 2009-10. What’s more, he suffered the same injury back in January 2009 as a high school senior. That’s three left ACL tears in 20 months.
Setting aside for a moment the obvious physical toll this takes on a person, consider the mental aspect, and the pattern of these injuries. Brown injured his left knee as a senior in high school, ending his prep career early — not exactly something easy for an 18-year old kid to deal with. Then, after surgery, rehab, and getting himself over the mental hurdles inherent in resuming any physical activity — let alone that of a major Division I college basketball player — the moment he’s waited for arrives, the first day of practice as a member of the Cardinal. Boom, he re-tears the ACL, the whole season lost. Another surgery. More rehab. Most people at that point would be afraid to move their entire leg at all, but Brown somehow found the guts to get back out on the court on a twice-repaired knee. And how is Brown rewarded for his courage? A third tear in the same knee during a pick-up game a few days ago. Again, season lost. More surgery. More rehab.
Brown has to be wondering if his left anterior cruciate ligament was, in fact, the inspiration for the Elijah Price character in M. Night Shyamalan’s Unbreakable. If Brown recovers and eventually makes it out onto the floor for the Cardinal in 2011-2012, given what he’s had to endure, it would be nothing short of heroic. We hope it happens, Andy. We’re all rooting for you. In the meantime, we’d suggest playing the California Lottery and hanging out in coffee shops.