It's easy to learn things about a player when everything is going well. However, let a player face adversity and that's when you really can tell a lot about his character.
That's why as impressive as Andre Woodson would have been if he had scored a
game-tying touchdown against Louisville and then led the Wildcats to victory,
I might have been even more impressed with the way he handled defeat.
Sure, he made a horrible decision on his fourth-quarter run that resulted in a
fumble and let Louisville hang on to its 31-24 win. He could have hit the
ground. He could have run and dove for the corner of the end zone. He could
have just held on to the ball. Instead, he tried to run through a Louisville
defender and fumbled away Kentucky's chance at winning.
"But you have to give him credit for wanting to make a play. That's what great
players do," said Kentucky receiver Tommy Cook. "He wasn't afraid to try and
make a play.
"He has taken the loss hard because he thinks he hurt our team. But he has to
realize that without him, we would not have been in the situation to beat
Louisville. He made great throws and checked out to get us in great plays. He
can't let one bad thing overshadow all the great things he did. He just wanted
to make a play and the Louisville guy happened to make a better play."
Woodson offered no excuses for his miscue once he composed himself enough to
address the media after Sunday's game. He patiently answered every question.
For a player that often refused interview requests his first two years at
Kentucky, that was a big step forward and told me he really understood what
being a team leader is all about.
"That's just the kind of character and demeanor he has. He's learned to
maintain his poise," Cook said. "I am definitely pleased with how he did.
This is the first time to have Kentucky as his team. It's not like he's taken
every snap since he has been here. He's only going to get better and he showed
me today that he not only wants to get better, but that he really wants to win
and is willing to do everything it takes to do that."
VAUGHT: Woodson shows character in defeat
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