SportsProf

(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.

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Saturday, September 04, 2010

Cards Cut Matt Leinart

I saw the trend here, first, in 2005.

The kid had nothing to prove in college, returned for his senior year, took one -- yes, one -- class -- ballroom dancing to remain eligible, and, why? Because he liked the college life.

Look, college life is fun, very much fun, especially when your the big man on campus, only have to take one course and have a lot of people either telling you how wonderful you are or kissing up to you. But what struck me was that Leinart didn't stick around because he was finishing up his pre-med requirements, ancient Greek poetry, or anything academic for which he had a passion. he stuck around, well, for the fun.

Sure, USC football was atop the world then, but, remember, if he was going to choose football as his vocation, he had nothing to prove. Nothing. So what should that have told the average NFL scout? That he was a serious competitor ready for the next level? That he wanted another year at AAA because, well, it beat going against the best competition?

This one wasn't too hard to figure. I wish Leinart well; he's just a kid. But it's probably the case that he has to grow up a bit and figure out -- very quickly -- that time's a-wasting and that somehow the hypothetical, average NFL scout or head coach now has it figured out that a former stockboy at a grocer store who went to a college only folks in his home state had heard of but with the hunger of the entire clientele of that store might be a better risk and project to have a better future than the gold-plated Maserati of a quarterback from an elite program.

Why?

Because no one ever swelled the head of the stock boy, who went out there and fought hard to earn it every day.

It's something that every elite recruit at a big-time program should remember. There's always someone who was overlooked who will knock your block off if you give them the chance.

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