Thursday, December 15, 2005

Too Much Hype Too Soon

An Internet sports site recently had the following lead in one of its stories:

"The buildup was amazing, the drama was riveting and the decision was talked about all over the Southeast and beyond."

Sounds like major news, doesn't it. The story continued:

Where was St. Augustine (Fla.) Nease quarterback Tim Tebow going to play his college football?"

Are you kidding me? This story was on the front page, written by recruiting analyst Mike Farrell. In the world of college football, Tebow's decision about what college to attend was a major news item, but does it have to be hyped like this? I don't think so.

Of course, sites like Rivals need to make their information seem important enough that people are going to plunk down money to pay for it. They sold me, I am a subscriber. Being a college sports fan and writer, I was curious about where Tebow, the top-rated dual threat QB in the nation in Rivals' own rankings, would go, but I hardly found it riveting drama.

Let's let the kid at least enroll in school and preferably do something on the field before we find ourselves riveted by anything he does. Do you ever wonder why so many of these kids (and yes, 17 and 18-year olds are still that when it comes to making major decisions and handling public attention) turn out to be self-absorbed prima-donnas?

Just think of yourself as a teenager and how you would have acted if coaches and fans had told you for years how great you were, how vital you were to the future of their particular school. You would probably think you were the next great thing unless you were incredibly well grounded. A lot of these kids aren't and turn out to be more like Terrell Owens than Tim Duncan.

Let's tone down the hype until these high school players have actually done something worthy of it. When they show they can contribute to the success of a major college program, let me know. Until then, I'll let them enjoy high school and get ready to make the jump to the next level in private.


At 10:35 AM, Blogger Wife of Bath said...

I agree with your sentiment--these high schoolers ought to be able to enjoy their final true amateur days without having to worry about making national headlines.

However, I believe it ought to be considered that recruiting is now a million-dollar business, and that there are thousands of recruiting fanatics at every major football and basketball-playing university in the country. To many of them, the Tebow news does warrant the headlines and the hype. It's all about that marketplace, unfair or not to the invidual being touted or the innocence of the high school game itself.


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