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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Giants Have 3 Ivy Leaguers on Their Roster

So reads a headline in today's USA Today. Click here for the story (to the extent that, upon reading, it, you think that it really is a story at all).

And this is a good thing for the Giants? I recall that one-time Princeton hoops coach Pete Carril said that there was a great correlation between high SAT's and slow feet. A Princeton player who was a contemporary of mine went to a prestigious HS for hoops in the Northeastern U.S. The kid who succeeded him at his position was a nationally recruited player -- and a better student than my friend the Princeton player. I recalled asking my friend, "Any chance he'd consider Princeton." My friend smiled and said, "If you could play, would you come here?" The kid went to a prominent ACC school and had a successful NBA career.

So back to my question? Is that a really good thing? Can they play?

(Of course they can, but in the modern era Ivy guys haven't predominated in the NFL or starred for the most part, and, yes, readers who are Ivy alums, Calvin Hill was great).

Now, for those of you who are uninitiated in the one-upsmanship of elite northeastern U.S. colleges and universities, you might think that the Ivy League is the be all and end all. Go there, you get life's golden ticket, and all will turn out well. Well, there also are elite small colleges, including the self-styled Little Three -- Amherst, Williams and Wesleyan -- and their alums will argue that their alma maters are every bit as good as the Ivies if not better because the profs at the small schools are solely dedicated to teaching undergraduates. I will not delve into a debate of whether Amherst is better than Harvard. Suffice it to say that one's college education is what one makes of it, period.

That said, there is this guy out there in the football world who spent a post-graduate year at a prestigious New England boarding school called Andover and then majored in mathematics at Wesleyan. He didn't play in the NFL; he's just one of the best head coaches of all time, a fellow by the name of Belichick. And I'd take him over the three Ivy guys who play for the Giants or any pantheon of coaches who coached at the elite football schools -- the Nebraskas, Oklahomas, Texases, Alabamas.

I suppose that on a slow news day the Ivy guys will draw attention because there is only so much that one can write about a high ankle sprain, the boot used to protect it or whether Eli Manning is a leader or the Jethroe Clampett of the NFL quarterback set. And that's all well and good.

But my money's still on the math major from Wesleyan.


Blogger Bob said...

One minor correction regarding Bill Belichick. His degree is in economics.

Here's his Patriots bio.

Here's a NYT story from 2004 on Belichick and economics.

11:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too bad he flinked Ethics.

12:43 PM  

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