Two NFL head coaches ended up in the hospital over the weekend for medical reasons; Broncos coach John Fox had a valve replaced in his heart and Texans coach Gary Kubiak reportedly suffered a transient ischemic attack (TIA), which is often referred to as a ministroke.
That these two incidents happened within days of one another might be coincidental, but the takeaway remains: Big-time football -- whether in the NFL or college -- is extremely stressful. And that stress can be amplified when a team is woefully underperforming.
"It's a very stressful job, no question," UConn interim coach TJ Weist said, according to the Hartford Courant's Jeff Jacobs. "For us it's a 24-hour job. You hate to say it, but it is. Some guys work twice as much as other guys. Does hard work always mean that you win? No. You always look back and say I hope [something awful] doesn't happen. You have your wife to help you out and say you've got to eat right. You've got to get your sleep. You've got to lower your stress level.
"But we're all so competitive," Weist continued. "It's not just the stress and the pressure. It's the competitiveness to win. I can't stand losing. I'm going to do everything I can to not lose. If that means staying up late, coming in early, trying to outwork everybody, whatever it takes, and try to develop that mentality with our team that we're no going to accept losing. We are not going to accept it."
Winning has yet to happen for the 2013 Huskies, who sit at 0-7 and face Louisville this Friday. Still, Weist knows that for as important as football is, it means little if you're not around to enjoy it.
"It's easy to be over-intense on the football field. It's a very high-strung game," he said. "But you also have to step back and it helps to have other people say, 'Slow down a little bit. Slow down before something like [Kubiak and Fox] happens.' Don't be as intense. Sometimes you've got to kick it back a notch. ... You've just got to be careful how intense you are all the time. It's something you always think about."