Have you ever gotten what you wanted, but felt hollow in doing so?
I'm not what one would call a specifically religious person, but I do understand what faith is. Myself, many other fans, the Titans team and coaches, all had faith in Jake Locker. There were many that didn't, which is totally understandable due to not having enough proof of him being able to perform at a consistent level. Combine that with the general mass media portrayal of the young QB and it would be hard for someone that didn't watch every snap and every throw to feel differently. Perhaps even some of those that do fervently follow the team weren't fully behind Locker.
But that's what faith is, a belief without proof. A trust in someone or something that goes beyond every scrap of evidence you can find to "prove" that belief. I, like many others, have that faith in Jake Locker.
There's a profound sadness that hovers over this injury that will leave many not eating breakfast on Monday morning, moping through their day as if the score were reversed in Sunday's win.
Jake Locker has endeared himself to so many fans because of who he is first, and how he plays second. He's the small town kid that plays his heart out. In today's age of superstar athletes, a guy that doesn't even have a twitter account is not only an anomaly, but a full on blast of fresh air. This is the same person that returned to college for a final year passing on tens of millions of dollars for a chance at a bowl game with his team. No press conference, no big announcement. He just strolled in to his coaches office with his hunting dog one early spring morning and let him know.
I wrote before the season started, with my fan card held high, that I needed a hero. That the fans of this franchise haven't had someone to revere both on and off the field in a long time, and how Jake could be that beacon of hope if his play on the field could match his character off the field. I will reuse here the same quote from that article.
"Everyone -- everyone -- wants to see him succeed,...Jake legitimately cares about whatever person he's talking to, and we all see it. He genuinely cares about their well-being. Not just players. Anybody. If he's talking to you, he cares about you. And as a result, everyone cares about him." - Rusty Smith
For those that have backed Locker and defended him mercilessly, this injury stings all the worse. Not because we want to say that we were right, but because we want Jake to be good because of who Jake is. Locker has undeniably played great, not good, football against 3 top ten defenses in the league. So far this season Locker has a completion percentage of 62.2%, 6 TD's, a passer rating of 99.0 and a ridiculously high QBR of 72.3. It tears me apart that he still won't get the credit he deserves for the way he's been playing as well as his command of the offense and the team alike.
There is hope however.
Locker has overcome every other obstacle put in his way to this point and I see no reason he won't continue to do so. His heart and perseverance are two of his biggest qualities that have endeared himself to many, and that make him who he is. Many Titans fans have long held onto the hope that Locker could become the quarterback we all knew he could be; the quarterback he had the potential to be. While we anxiously await news to the extent of this injury, we should continue to have the same faith and hope that have brought us all to this point.