Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Reflecting On The Obsessive College Sports Community

PJS Note: I write a weekly column for 10,000 Takes and this first appeared there this morning. I'm cross-posting it here.

Since the end of last year's Gophers football season, eyes turned to the future. It's only natural that this happens. It's the reason sites like Rivals succeed.

It's why sports columnists, commenters at GopherHole act as if the sky is falling anytime a potential recruit picks school colors that aren't that writer's preferred. I'm not trying to be holier than thou. During the basketball recruitment of Draymond Green, I latched onto a very easy storyline after Green picked Tom Izzo over Tubby Smith. It wasn't my finest moment. I acted silly, took the easy angle and raised bogus concerns that Green's choice might underscore some criticisms wacky Kentucky fans had about Tubby.

I bring this up because of the unfortunate news that Champlin Park's Sam Maresh, one of Tim Brewster's marquee recruits, faces a real life challenge: open heart surgery, according to the Star Tribune, to repair or replace his aortic valve. Maresh's bio is one that has excited Gopher Nation. Brewster has compared him to Brian Urlacher. He was a 4-star Rivals linebacker who bucked the trend of high-profile recruits leaving the state and picked the Gophers over Michigan. That alone endeared him to Minnesota fans.

Thankfully, the reaction of Minnesota fans has been sensitive. It's cliche, but this type of news does put sports into perspective. But for those of us in the peanut gallery, perhaps we can take a look at this situation and keep it in mind when we're writing our columns, posts or comments. Losing out on Michael Floyd to Notre Dame isn't the end of the world. Getting surly because Draymond Green picks the Spartans over the Gophers is hardly an appropriate reaction.

Maresh insists he will play football again, and I will root him along in that effort. But I won't be upset if he doesn't. And I'm going to try not to be upset the next time that recruit I really want in maroon and gold picks some less wonderful colors.


lonebadger said...

"And I'm going to try not to be upset the next time that recruit I really want in maroon and gold picks some less wonderful colors."

I'm assuming that you are not including 'red and white' in that endeavor. I mean, a man can only be pushed so far.

Friend Of Tubby said...

I loved the Anonymous (UK Numb Nut) reply to your Draymond Green thread way back when.

Since that idiot predicted Gloom and Doom for Minny, the Gophers did quite well.

Ralph Sampson (over UK among others).

Colton Iverson (over Fla among others).

Devoe Joseph = Canada POY (over Kansas & Texas among others).

Devron Bostick = NJCAA POY.

And Paul Carter = talented JuCo frosh.

PLUS likely HS All-American Royce White over Who's Who of college basketball.

The UK racists and idiots are a lot quieter now.

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