CHICAGO -- Chris Coghlan had neither seen the play nor heard about it. But when Coghlan was informed that a wide receiver for the Georgia football team suffered a season-ending knee injury while celebrating a touchdown over the weekend, it gave him immediate pause.
In July of 2010, the season after he won the National League's Rookie of the Year award, Coghlan injured his left knee in the process of planting a shaving cream pie in the face of teammate Wes Helms following a walkoff victory. He's been trying to get his baseball career back on track ever since.
"It can happen to anybody at anytime," Coghlan said. "You can't control everything."
Georgia receiver Malcolm Mitchell discovered that for himself Saturday when he tore the anterior cruciate ligament while celebrating a teammate's touchdown in the endzone. As a result, Mitchell is out for the season.
"He actually hurt it in the exuberance of the first touchdown of the game for us," Georgia coach Mark Richt told reporters the following day. "He went to congratulate his teammate and I think they jumped up and chest-bumped or whatever and it ended up that he landed in a bad way."
Coghlan said that, fortunately for Mitchell, the player is young and still has plenty of time to put his career back on track. But Coghlan also said their injuries aren't any reason to end celebrations in either sport.
"There's no way," Coghlan said. "Sports are emotional -- football, baseball, everything. You watch any sport. A guy catches a touchdown pass. A guy scores the winning run. Nobody just says, 'That's cool, see you later.'"
Coghlan said Mitchell should be prepared to answer questions about the freak injury for the rest of his life, though.
"I think the hardest thing is, it's always with you," Coghlan said. "That happened four or five years ago and I still talk about it. Kendrys Morales (who was injured in walkoff celebration), I'm sure he has to hear about it all the time. That's the toughest part."
Here's video of Mitchell's injury. He wears No. 26: