Saturday, October 04, 2008

For The Love (?) of the Game....

Story from the Houston Chronicle:

Trevor Wikre was willing to forgo a finger for football.

The Mesa State (Colo.) College senior offensive lineman fractured his right pinkie so severely in practice on Tuesday, doctors told him he needed immediate surgery. His season and career would be finished.

Instead, Wikre told them to amputate the finger. He's now missing a good portion of his pinkie.

"I'm just short one," Wikre said with a chuckle. "But this game means that much to me. This team means that much to me."

Wikre will miss the Mavericks' game Saturday at Colorado School of Mines, but will be back the following week — albeit with his finger covered in a cast.

"Football is something that's been in my blood," said Wikre, who's from Berthoud, Colo. "It's something I have a passion for. The game quits everybody eventually — you want to hang on to it as long as you can."

Wikre was going for a block in practice when he caught his finger in a teammate's jersey. At first, he didn't give the ailing pinkie a second thought, thinking the sensation he was feeling inside his glove was a piece of tape that had simply slipped off.

But when he removed his glove, the bone was jutting out, and he was immediately sent to the hospital.

Doctors informed Wikre he would need surgery to insert a pin and that he'd likely be out for up to six months as the finger healed. He couldn't bear the thought of his career ending so abruptly, so he decided to forsake the finger.

"This was the best way to get me back out there," Wikre said. "There are worse things in the world — a pinkie is not that bad in my mind."

The four-year starter is still a little sore that he can't play this weekend. Mesa State, a Division II school in Grand Junction, Colo., has won its last three games, and Wikre didn't want to mess up the mojo.

"We've got a great team," said Wikre, who was an all-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference player last season. "We've got to keep this rolling."

Instead, he'll mentor his backup on the sideline, shouting encouragement and advice.

"I'll be that big supporter," he said.

The 6-3, 280-pound Wikre said he'll never glance back at his decision with remorse.

What's done is done.

"Never look back on the decisions you make," he said. "Everybody thinks I'm crazy, but anybody that loves sports and has had this camaraderie knows what it's like."

That's why he was willing to part with his pinkie.

"This will be a great story down the line," Wikre said.

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