Inside Vikings running back Dalvin Cook’s emotional season after the death of his father
Vikings running back Dalvin Cook was one of the NFL’s most exciting young talents, until he broke his left leg in Week 4. The 6-foot-1, 220 pound Florida State product proved that you can get through anything with an uplifting attitude and a relentless work ethic – but what about after your father passes away? When asked how it felt to play without him, Cook had this answer: “I’m not going on like I didn’t have my dad; I am who I am because of him.”
The “dalvin cook injury 2021” is a story about how Dalvin Cook’s season has been after the death of his father. The Vikings running back has had an emotional year and it has helped him to break out as one of the best backs in the league.
THE VIKINGS OF MINNESOTA ARE ON THE RUN AGAIN. Cook, Dalvin received a missed call from his father, James, on December 29, 2020. That’s odd, thought the running back, recalling the call that came in before midnight. His father was aware that he was sleeping and never phoned so late.
Cook received another weirdly timed call from his grandma Betty while on his way to the Vikings’ practice facility before he had a chance to contact his father back. He pulled over to the side of the road and sat stunned by the tumultuous scenario he had been seeing on FaceTime.
Betty had just discovered her son James, with whom she shared a home in Miami, deceased in his bed. Roosevelt, Cook’s uncle, rushed to try CPR on his brother, who was not responding.
Cook waited for the paramedics on the phone with his grandma as the minutes ticked away. It was too late by then. James died of diabetic complications when he was 46 years old.
Cook stood there watching as his father’s corpse was brought out of the house, telling his grandma that he would call her back. What he’d just seen didn’t seem to register with him. Cook’s idol, his father, had died.
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Cook broke the news to his mother, his running backs coach, and his siblings and sisters one by one.
Cook remembered the missed phone call two weeks later, as he sat beside his father’s coffin during his father’s wake. What was the topic of their last conversation? It had been bothering him for a long time. Cook was looking for closure in his hunt for answers.
He sat for a long time, allowing his emotions to flow freely. Cook said his goodbyes and told his father he loved him in between cries. He then quickly redirected his focus to those whom he felt obligated to defend.
“When you’re the head of the family, everyone looks at you as if you’re about to weep. Is he going to express his feelings?” Cook remarked. “I was trying to be as strong as possible for my brothers and sisters, who were already ripped apart.”
Cook’s identity has been influenced by the metamorphosis he’s gone through in the ten months after his father died. Football has always been his release, or “therapy,” but this season it has taken on a new significance for him. He’s been the face of the Vikings franchise for a long time, and he’s the key for a squad that’s at a crossroads. Minnesota (3-3) opens the second half of the season against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC) (6-1).
Despite all of Cook’s pain, both that which he has processed and that which creeps up on him when he least expects it, Cook has discovered a certain strength.
Cook added, “Now I’ve got a greater role.” “I’m just keeping an eye out for my siblings and sisters, as well as my grandmother. In his absence, I simply feel like that’s my job.”
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James had a mobile car wash and was a big fan of playing loud Jamaican music. Dalvin’s go-to Chinese chicken fried rice was a favorite of his, and he could make just about anything in the kitchen. He and his kid likewise appreciated the simple joys of life.
Betty said, “Fishing was their life.” “They were out there, even if they weren’t catching anything.”
James radiated tolerance and a never-say-die attitude. Dalvin isn’t the only one of the brothers who has turned his athletic abilities into a job. DeAndre played basketball at Mississippi and internationally, while James Jr. is a Georgia running back.
“One thing I learned from my father was that when he talked, people paid attention,” Dalvin remarked. “You don’t have to talk all the time, but when you do, your words have a big impact.”
Cook’s colleagues rushed at his house shortly after he made his phone calls on the day of his father’s death. Vikings fullback C.J. Ham was the first to arrive, and after losing his mother in May 2020, he understood what Cook was going through. Before their position coach, Kennedy Polamalu, came, Ham sat quietly and didn’t say much, letting his friend to go through the early stages of grieving.
“Throughout it all, he was like a hero to me…. It’s still difficult. I’m a hard worker. This is what he did to make me enjoy it. And all I want to do now is get through it.”
Polamalu knew Cook had a few personal goals left before Minnesota’s last game of the season versus Detroit. Cook was 82 yards shy of 2,000 yards of offense, yet he couldn’t even prepare for the game, much alone play that Sunday.
Polamalu added, “He sobbed for a long period.” “He couldn’t stop himself. He wasn’t going to be able to accomplish anything mentally.”
Cook immediately wrapped up his loose ends in Minnesota with the aid of a visiting buddy and boarded an aircraft for Miami.
He sank into his grandmother’s arms and began weeping as he entered through the door of his grandmother’s house, where his father’s memories remained.
The week went by in a flash. Hundreds of people visited Betty’s house, bringing food, hugs, and support. Cook sat down with his grandma after the burial in January, having made up his mind. Staying in a place where every corner contained memories of James wasn’t good for her.
“He wasn’t going to accept no for an answer,” Betty said. “He’s never refused to listen to anything I’ve said, but he was so determined at that moment that I had no choice but to go. ‘I’m not sure, Dalvin,’ I began, and he replied, ‘Ma, I don’t want to hear it.’ ‘You’re on your way.’ He acted as though he were the father. ‘You’re on your way.’”
In July, Cook relocated his grandma to Miami Gardens before returning to Minnesota. Cook had to come to terms with how he would continue as the season approached, knowing that his greatest supporter was no longer with him. As his next wave of sorrow struck, he sat on his grandmother’s bed, tears welling up in his eyes.
“Every game, Dalvin would phone his dad from the locker room as he was getting ready,” Betty said. “‘Ma, what am I going to do now?’ he asked to me.”
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“I’m not sure how I’m going to get over that. I have my ups and downs “he said “My grandmother used to tell me that guys believe weeping makes them weak. Sometimes I simply need to sit and cry, or look at some of our old photos or items that bring back old memories, to feel better. That is what brings me joy. I’m reminiscing about the excellent times we had. That’s what keeps me going.”
Cook will use his time before the game on Sunday night, when he is getting ready to enter the field, to silently ponder about the calls he used to make and the voice that would always tell him the same thing: “You better run the ball, because I’m watching you.”
“That’s what gets me through these days,” Cook said, “just thinking about tiny things he’d say me.” “Throughout it all, he was like a hero to me.” In my perspective, he was simply a hero, no matter what he did. He was the one who led me in the right direction.
“It’s still difficult. I’m a hard worker. This is what he did to make me enjoy it. And all I want to do now is get through it.”
The “dalvin cook injury history” is an article about the running back for the Vikings. The article goes into detail about his emotional season after the death of his father.
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