Associate professor Kevin Robbins’ Reporting Sports class was met with a welcome surprise Thursday morning.
Legendary former Longhorn quarterback Colt McCoy dropped into the 11 a.m. Zoom call and offered up some stories from his time as a collegiate and NFL player as well as some words of encouragement for getting through the coronavirus pandemic.
McCoy spent 2006-09 playing at Texas, where he etched his name into the Longhorn record books. In his four years at the Forty Acres, he set the school records for both single season and career passing yards and passing touchdowns.
Now entering his 11th season in the NFL, McCoy has bounced around as a backup, playing for the Cleveland Browns, the San Francisco 49ers and Washington Redskins before signing a one-year deal with the New York Giants this offseason.
But Thursday, McCoy was just like everyone else — stuck at home, searching for some sense of normalcy.
“I would be in New York going through OTAs learning a new offense, learning my teammates, learning a new system,” McCoy said. “That’s sort of shut down, too. We’re all in just a unique spot.”
Instead of preparing for a new start in the Big Apple, he’s doing it from his couch at home. Yet this isn’t the only time he’s had to adapt to adverse conditions.
In his stint in professional football, McCoy has had his fair share of adversity. Injury concerns have kept him from sustaining a starting job for the majority of his career.
“One thing that I stick to most of the time is just finding something that’s your source of strength,” McCoy said. “For me, that’s my faith … That’s sort of how you have to approach it.”
With the world coming to a halt during the coronavirus pandemic, the sports world followed. After the NBA and MLB suspended competition, the NFL is the next league in jeopardy.
“All the things that are uncertain moving forward, like are we going to play with anyone in the stands? We’re not doing an offseason program. It’s all going to be virtual. What’s that going to look like? There’s so many questions I have,” McCoy said. “It’s interesting times … It’s a unique time. I don’t really know what it’s going to look like. We’re all fighting through it. Everybody has a story. Just hang in there.”
McCoy’s words of encouragement resonated with students in Reporting Sports, many of whom first began watching sports when McCoy was leading the Longhorns.
“It was very good to hear because it kind of shows that nobody is untouchable in a way,” journalism junior Hannah Burbank said. “He was really relatable in that essence. He’s a real guy who’s facing this thing just like the rest of us.”
In times of uncertainty like this, many look for a lifting of spirits from anywhere they can get it. And, if just for a moment, this was just what McCoy provided.
“It’d be good just to hear that it’s OK,” Robbins said. “It might get harder, but the more you hear that from people, the better.”