The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Sports

November 5, 2013

Stress of coaching can add up quickly

The hours are brutal, and so are the expectations of millions who sit in judgment of what you do on Sunday afternoon.

Being a coach in the NFL isn’t necessarily an automatic ticket to the emergency room. But the hospitalization of two coaches on one midseason weekend— one after collapsing on primetime television — is a scary reminder that the unrelenting pressure of trying to win football games week after week can be a dangerous thing.

“Football sure is stressful and coaching is a stressful occupation — just like a lot of people’s jobs are stressful,” said Dan Reeves, who underwent heart surgery while coaching the Atlanta Falcons in 1998. “But it’s such a time-consuming job that you don’t really take care of yourself the way you should, and it’s easy to have those things happen.”

Like Denver’s John Fox, Reeves knew he had heart issues during the season. Like Fox, he wanted to put them off as his team made a run to the playoffs.

And like Fox he ended up in the hospital while his team played without him.

Fox underwent aortic valve replacement surgery Monday, two days after feeling dizzy while playing golf near his offseason home in North Carolina.

Not so predictable is the future of Gary Kubiak, who collapsed while walking off the field at halftime Sunday night in a game his team would go on to lose in his absence.

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