Garrett Uekman 1992-2011
Yesterday morning, the chatter in local coffee shops and on internet message boards was all about where the Hogs would be ranked when the new polls came out later in the day and all of the different scenario's that could put Arkansas into the SEC or National Championship game. By early afternoon, as more and more Hog fans heard the tragic news of the loss of UA Redshirt Freshman Tight End Garrett Uekman, the chatter all but ceased as excitement was replaced by grief for Garrett's family and friends.
Around 10:15 yesterday morning, Garrett Uekman was reported to have been alive and well, playing video games in his dorm room. An hour later, a roommate found him unconsciousness and within an hour he was pronounced dead. While the cause of death is not known, police don't suspect any foul play. His body has been sent to Little Rock for an autopsy, as is normal procedure for any unattended death.
By all accounts, 19 year old Garrett was a joy to be around. He excelled both on the field and in the classroom and was by all reports a model student-athlete. A graduate of Little Rock Catholic High School, he was living his childhood dream by playing for the Razorbacks. As a red-shirt freshman this season, he had played in 9 of the Razorbacks 11 games.
"Garrett Uekman was a special member of our family, and we are all saddened by his passing. His loss is a terrible shock, and it makes you realize how precious life is. Garrett was a great teammate and loved being a Razorback. My sympathies are with his entire family during this incredibly trying time, and I share in their grief. Our team will honor and show our respect to Garrett. - Bobby Petrino"
As fans, we pause to not only think about those mourning the loss of a son, a nephew, sibling or good friend, but to stop and remember that there are things in life far more important than your favorite team winning a big football game. While watching our beloved Razorbacks dismantle Mississippi State on Saturday was definitely a treat, the time I spent with my cousins and friends tailgating on the golf course was, by far, more meaningful to me than the outcome of the game. Sometimes we have to step back and remind ourselves of that fact.