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Return of the Mack

by admin October 7, 2009

Return of the Mack

by Archives October 6, 2009

The Concordia Stingers football team has a tough road ahead. As of last week, their record sat at a lowly 0-4. For many, four losses in as many games is a reflection of a bunch of underachieving athletes. The same can’t be said of the Stingers. In this case, 0-4 is a reflection of the countless setbacks the team has come face to face with since before the season even began. This year has been highlighted by an unanticipated transition that has forced both newcomers and veterans to adapt to a new style of play.
The Stingers are now facing tremendous pressure as they push for a spot in the playoffs after making the Dunsmore Cup final last year. Although it’s up to everyone on the team to make that leap, any hardcore or casual fan of football knows that the player facing the most pressure is the starting quarterback. QB Rob Mackay is definitely feeling the heat. After returning this year from a two-season absence due to a knee injury, Mackay is aware that a team’s record often unjustly rests on his shoulders. “It’s tough being a quarterback, because as soon as something goes wrong, people seem to want to get you out of there. I’m not afraid of the pressure, but it’s definitely something I’m aware of”.
Despite the added pressure that comes with being the anchor of a team, football remains a passion for Mackay day in and day out.
Hailing from Fort Dover in Ontario, the 22 year-old’s love for the game began in the 6th grade. Mirroring his father and two older brothers, he shuffled positions and eventually moved into the one he would carry into his college years. But for Mackay, football was more than just a sport. It was a vehicle that brought him closer than ever to his family. “Football was one of those sports that I could always play with my brothers. The sport is part of my family. It’s something we’ve always discussed and being the youngest they’re always on me about how I play, so it gets very personal”.
Although given the opportunity to play baseball at UBC, Mackay felt Concordia offered him the best of both the athletic and academic worlds. “I felt I was offered a better opportunity here. I had my recruiting trip here and I just fell in love with the university and the people.”
Mackay joined the Stingers in 2006, and just a year later suffered an injury that would end his season and pave the way for future rookie of the year and team MVP Liam Mahoney. Early in the 2007 Homecoming game, Mackay seriously injured his knee playing against Montreal, arguably Concordia’s biggest rival. All in all, the injury, which required surgery, was tough on Rob. Forced to sit out the rest of the season as well as the entire 2008, Mackay got a first-hand look at what it’s like to be an athlete watching from the outside. He looked on as his team amassed an impressive record only to fall short of disappointing the unstoppable Rouge et Or last November.
“Not playing, you almost feel like you’re not a part of the team. Game days are especially tough. Sitting in the press box, when your team is winning, it’s great, but when they’re struggling, all you want to do is get out there and help them.” Despite the injury and Mahoney’s stellar play, Mackay was reassured by his relationship with his teammates and coach. Thanks to the mutual respect he and Gerry McGrath share, Mackay knew that when the time came and he was ready, he would be back in the pocket setting up plays.
“The plan was always in place that when I came back, Liam would move to receiver. Coach telling me that kept my mind at ease.”
Mackay managed a comeback in due time, knowing that rushing back would only further the severity of his injury. He took the steps necessary for a full recovery. With the help of winter camp and his teammates, Mackay returned this season. Although shaky against Laval – but then again who isn’t – the QB has managed to impress despite the less than stellar record his team holds. Emotions naturally dampen after a defeat and Mackay admits that, although a loss should rest on the whole team’s shoulders, he can’t help but feel guilty because he holds the most difficult job in sports.
“There are things that some players can get away with, but if I make a bad throw or a poor read, it shows. There’s a lot of pressure to execute and when you don’t, you feel like you’ve let the whole team down.” Mackay knows that despite what anyone says, perfection is humanly impossible; that goes without saying in sports. Thankfully, the Stingers haven’t let their emotions create tension in the locker room; the entire team has become a family. Mackay takes comfort in this and that could translate into a succesful push for a playoff spot during the remainder of the season. Rob is even looking ahead to his final season in a Stingers uniform, when he believes Concordia can win the Vanier Cup.
“We have the tools, we just need our players to gain experience. This year, we have to learn to execute and stop making stupid mistakes. Next year, our young guys will come back and we’ll be a completely different team.”
As for his own future in football, Mackay is still undecided when it comes to playing professionally. Although he is currently studying Human Relations and has plans to enter its graduate program, the CFL isn’t out of the question. However, the rules and limits associated with drafting quarterbacks in the league may put a stamp on Rob’s decision.
“If I think I could have a long career in football, I’d like it to be an option, but I don’t think it is right now,” he said.
No matter what the future looks like for Mackay, all he’s concentrating on right now is giving the Stingers a chance to win after coming so close time and time again. And there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Mackay is up to the task.

The Concordia Stingers football team has a tough road ahead. As of last week, their record sat at a lowly 0-4. For many, four losses in as many games is a reflection of a bunch of underachieving athletes. The same can’t be said of the Stingers. In this case, 0-4 is a reflection of the countless setbacks the team has come face to face with since before the season even began. This year has been highlighted by an unanticipated transition that has forced both newcomers and veterans to adapt to a new style of play.
The Stingers are now facing tremendous pressure as they push for a spot in the playoffs after making the Dunsmore Cup final last year. Although it’s up to everyone on the team to make that leap, any hardcore or casual fan of football knows that the player facing the most pressure is the starting quarterback. QB Rob Mackay is definitely feeling the heat. After returning this year from a two-season absence due to a knee injury, Mackay is aware that a team’s record often unjustly rests on his shoulders. “It’s tough being a quarterback, because as soon as something goes wrong, people seem to want to get you out of there. I’m not afraid of the pressure, but it’s definitely something I’m aware of”.
Despite the added pressure that comes with being the anchor of a team, football remains a passion for Mackay day in and day out.
Hailing from Fort Dover in Ontario, the 22 year-old’s love for the game began in the 6th grade. Mirroring his father and two older brothers, he shuffled positions and eventually moved into the one he would carry into his college years. But for Mackay, football was more than just a sport. It was a vehicle that brought him closer than ever to his family. “Football was one of those sports that I could always play with my brothers. The sport is part of my family. It’s something we’ve always discussed and being the youngest they’re always on me about how I play, so it gets very personal”.
Although given the opportunity to play baseball at UBC, Mackay felt Concordia offered him the best of both the athletic and academic worlds. “I felt I was offered a better opportunity here. I had my recruiting trip here and I just fell in love with the university and the people.”
Mackay joined the Stingers in 2006, and just a year later suffered an injury that would end his season and pave the way for future rookie of the year and team MVP Liam Mahoney. Early in the 2007 Homecoming game, Mackay seriously injured his knee playing against Montreal, arguably Concordia’s biggest rival. All in all, the injury, which required surgery, was tough on Rob. Forced to sit out the rest of the season as well as the entire 2008, Mackay got a first-hand look at what it’s like to be an athlete watching from the outside. He looked on as his team amassed an impressive record only to fall short of disappointing the unstoppable Rouge et Or last November.
“Not playing, you almost feel like you’re not a part of the team. Game days are especially tough. Sitting in the press box, when your team is winning, it’s great, but when they’re struggling, all you want to do is get out there and help them.” Despite the injury and Mahoney’s stellar play, Mackay was reassured by his relationship with his teammates and coach. Thanks to the mutual respect he and Gerry McGrath share, Mackay knew that when the time came and he was ready, he would be back in the pocket setting up plays.
“The plan was always in place that when I came back, Liam would move to receiver. Coach telling me that kept my mind at ease.”
Mackay managed a comeback in due time, knowing that rushing back would only further the severity of his injury. He took the steps necessary for a full recovery. With the help of winter camp and his teammates, Mackay returned this season. Although shaky against Laval – but then again who isn’t – the QB has managed to impress despite the less than stellar record his team holds. Emotions naturally dampen after a defeat and Mackay admits that, although a loss should rest on the whole team’s shoulders, he can’t help but feel guilty because he holds the most difficult job in sports.
“There are things that some players can get away with, but if I make a bad throw or a poor read, it shows. There’s a lot of pressure to execute and when you don’t, you feel like you’ve let the whole team down.” Mackay knows that despite what anyone says, perfection is humanly impossible; that goes without saying in sports. Thankfully, the Stingers haven’t let their emotions create tension in the locker room; the entire team has become a family. Mackay takes comfort in this and that could translate into a succesful push for a playoff spot during the remainder of the season. Rob is even looking ahead to his final season in a Stingers uniform, when he believes Concordia can win the Vanier Cup.
“We have the tools, we just need our players to gain experience. This year, we have to learn to execute and stop making stupid mistakes. Next year, our young guys will come back and we’ll be a completely different team.”
As for his own future in football, Mackay is still undecided when it comes to playing professionally. Although he is currently studying Human Relations and has plans to enter its graduate program, the CFL isn’t out of the question. However, the rules and limits associated with drafting quarterbacks in the league may put a stamp on Rob’s decision.
“If I think I could have a long career in football, I’d like it to be an option, but I don’t think it is right now,” he said.
No matter what the future looks like for Mackay, all he’s concentrating on right now is giving the Stingers a chance to win after coming so close time and time again. And there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Mackay is up to the task.

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