His gait was gimpy. His aim was sometimes askew. His left wrist was fractured. His right leg was not right.
Teddy Bridgewater was ill-equipped to play full-contact football Thursday night, much less to compete for a conference title. He lacked the mobility to create space under pressure, and his injuries were too public to be hidden by prevarication. The University of Louisville’s intrepid quarterback wore an invisible target as well as his familiar No. 5 into the Cardinals’ Big East joust with the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers.
And yet. ... And yet. ... And yet. ...
When discretion said to take the day off, when his coach’s caution caused him to spend the entire first quarter as a spectator, when a sellout crowd was poised to celebrate Rutgers’ first Big East championship (prodded by a 14-3 lead), Bridgewater stepped up, sucked it up and lifted U of L to a level roughly equal in euphoria to Wednesday’s announcement that his school was granted membership in the esteemed Atlantic Coast Conference.