There’s some bizarre news out of the University of Wisconsin football program today. Head coach Gary Anderson reports that quarterback Joel Stave is not injured, as had been previously reported, but instead has a case of the “yips.”
The yips, in case you aren’t familiar, are when a person experiences an inexplicable loss of basic skills or abilities. For example, major league catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia had the yips a few years back when he suddenly couldn’t make an accurate throw back to the pitcher’s mound.
Stave spoke to reporters today and said that he’s over-thinking everything about playing quarterback right now. From Fox Sports:
"I'll be throwing it good, throwing it good and then all of a sudden I feel like I hang on to it too long," Stave said. "One will sail, one will slip and then you start thinking, 'Oh I've got to hang on to it longer.' That's what happens when you start thinking too much."
One reporter asked Stave directly if he thinks he has the yips.
"Maybe on some level," he said. "I've heard of that, too. The yips, a golfer who can't hit it straight and stuff like that. I know I can throw the ball. That's something that since I've been a kid, not even just football, I've been good at throwing things. I could throw a baseball. Give me a volleyball, I can chuck it across a gym.
"I've just been good at throwing things since I've been young. It's not a lack of confidence. It's not a lack of preparation or anything like that. It's just a matter of getting back to feeling comfortable and feeling like the ball's coming out the way it should."
The Badgers better hope Stave can regain his old form soon. Before this case of the yips popped up, he was expected to be the team’s starting quarterback. The man starting in his place, Tanner McEvoy, struggled mightily last week in Wisconsin’s loss to LSU, going just 8-24 for 50 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions.