Friday, November 30, 2001

Rod Woodson was one of the most gifted athletes ever to lace up the cleats for the Boilermakers. I watched his career on the football field at Purdue and was in the stands on the day that he played his storied last game against Indiana, in which he started at cornerback on defense, running back on offense, returned punts and kicks, and caught three passes as a wide receiver. Purdue beat IU that day by preserving their lead on the last play of the game. Pete Stoyanovich, who would go on to be a very good NFL kicker, lined up for what would have been a game winning field goal but a freshman defensive lineman broke through the line and blocked the field goal. The ball was then scooped up by Woodson who then raced the length of the field to finish his career in a most fitting place, in the end zone at the bottom of a pile of ecstatic teammates and fans. Unfortunately the TD was called back. Apparently as Woodson leaned over to scoop up the ball, he stumbled and a teammate grabbed his jersey to keep him from falling over, which was ruled aiding the runner (I'd be willing to bet that Woodson, with his athleticism, would have regained his balance anyway, but...). Woodson has had an unbelievalbe pro career as well, topping it off with a Super Bowl ring last season. Woodson's athletic accomplishments have not been limited to the gridiron. He has excelled in track and field, once recording the 4th fastest time in the world for that particular year in the 110 high hurdles after training only two weeks. Even in the training room Woodson has set records. In 1995 he became the first player in league history to tear the anterior cruciate ligament and return to play the same season. Anyway, for Woodson fans or sports fans in general you might find this article on Woodson interesting.

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