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Kentucky Football

The Commonwealth Mourns

July 3, 2019
3,233

While the rest of America prepares to celebrate perhaps its most important holiday tomorrow, the Commonwealth of Kentucky will mourn the loss of a legend. 

Jared Lorenzen passed away today at the age of 38, an age that is much too early for anyone to be taken. Lorenzen was a Kentucky boy... born, bred, and dyed in the wool Big Blue.

DEFYING ODDS

Lorenzen was a two-sport star at Highlands High in Ft. Thomas, Ky who brought his Football talents to Lexington for a multi-year run of success that left him as one of the most prolific Quarterbacks to ever suit up for the University of Kentucky and the entire Southeastern Conference.

Over that time, Lorenzen also amassed more nicknames than most Quarterbacks have years of playing at the highest level of College Football. He owned those nicknames and did not shy away from any of them. Lorenzen’s self-awareness and burning desire to win no matter how pretty it was is one of the things that endeared him most to the Big Blue Nation.

We have seen the BBN’s unyielding desire to rally around all things Kentucky at numerous times in all of our lives. Jared Lorenzen was one of those entities that became larger than life during his time on campus and even in the years after.

 Lorenzen was doubted by most anyone who had not followed him in High School. The idea that a 300-pound quarterback, at Kentucky of all places, could find success was laughable. Lorenzen knew different, so did Big Blue Nation.

The doubts would continue as few thought he could ever see a single paycheck in the NFL without a massive loss of weight. Lorenzen defied that too, all while smiling and laughing and making everyone’s lives around him better.

Not only did Lorenzen succeed, he dominated... re-writing record books in the process. All of this while a nation watched on in awe and disbelief, except for the Commonwealth, who just smiled and basked in pride. Kentuckians knew the Hefty Lefty would defy physics week in and week out.

Lorenzen would also go on to win a Super Bowl ring with the 2007 Giants. Many will point to him being a backup on that team, but if you recall, he nearly took the job from Eli Manning that pre-season. Lorenzen was not just a clipboard holder for the Giants, he was a damn good player they could have counted on had they needed him to step in.

BECOMING A LEGEND

Big Blue Nation would also rally around Lorenzen in his recent efforts to become healthier. An entire commonwealth and countless fans outside of the state were rooting for him to find success internally and find a way to improve his odds of living a longer life.

Lorenzen was not just a legend they had rooted for on the field, he was now a fellow member of Big Blue Nation fighting for his life. Members of BBN band together to join in the struggle and this was no different, in fact it was more powerful because Lorenzen *was* Kentucky Football personified.

Lorenzen had his personal struggles in college on a public forum whether he wanted to or not. This time he decided to empower anyone willing to join him in his fight on social media. Few things are more powerful as being openly vulnerable and Lorenzen bared it all while BBN (and then some) joined him in his fight.

For any Kentucky Football fan ages 30-50, there is a good chance Lorenzen is one of your all-time favorite players, if not your favorite. He was not just a legend on the field either, Lorenzen was someone you wanted to be around off the field. 

In my few interactions with him at UK events, he was always kind to me even though he did not know me from Adam. Even as a stranger, he always had a way to make you smile and feel like you were good buddies... even when he was not trying to. I dare you to find a single person who spent any time around Lorenzen who did not love the guy. 

Lorenzen was a flawed human (as all humans are) who represented all of us. He was not perfect, he had vices and he struggled with them. The difference, other than having a cruise missile for a left arm, was that he had to struggle with them in the public eye. Lorenzen was everything we were as humans and everything we wanted to be as athletes.

Lorenzen will forever be remembered as one of the greatest Kentucky Football players to ever live. More importantly, he has shown future athletes that you do not have to be prototypical to excel at a sport. He has also incrementally changed the lives of scores of people just because he existed and brought joy into their lives.

Lorenzen may have fallen short in his quest to extend his vitality, but he absolutely knocked it out of the park when it comes to the number of people he touched and influenced in his brief 38 years.

He has left a legacy that his children can be proud of and while he leaves a Commonwealth in mourning... they are also proud they had the opportunity to be a part of Jared’s life on and off the field.

Another larger than life player who was not a prototypical athlete; Babe Ruth, once said, “Heroes get remembered, but legends never die”

Rest in Peace, Legend

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The Commonwealth Mourns

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