So, with any type of fame comes the detractors. I am the first with a joke (or to light up your smoke…that’s right, Billy Joel), but I need to answer some questions, comments, and criticisms that have been thrown my way.
1. Does it weigh on my mind that Louisville has an “axe to grind” regarding the so called “bad call” on LT’s touchdown return last year?
The answer is, “No.” The game of football is played by humans and the calls are made by humans. To err is human (to forgive is Noel divine…ha!). But truthfully, regarding the call, I won’t comment on whether it was a good call or not. But I will say that a year removed from that game I’m more worried about stopping the run than I am that their team is extra-motivated by that single play. That is for the fans and the media to worry about. They handled it with class (pay attention, Temple) and just like us they are coming to play the game to win.
2. My Dad (who’s opinion regarding me is completely biased) calls me to say that my blog has been relayed on Rivals.com and Scout.com and places of that nature. Awesome. I’m glad people are taking an interest in what I have to say, and now my Mom can stop logging on every 10 minutes. Apparently there was a post saying that it worries the fans that I am “so consumed with how much media attention we do (or do not) get” …or something to that effect. Let me say this, for the record: I don’t “drink the poison” as Coach Edsall says. I don’t pay attention to what others have to say about me or my team. I certainly don’t obsess over the media coverage. But like any other 22-year-old with a light academic schedule, I regularly tune into Sports Center and other ESPN programming. Bottom line is that I notice we don’t get the respect I feel we deserve. But by no means am I saying that my faith in my teammates is contingent upon affirmation by ESPN commentators. I simply know that to establish tradition, pride, and good recruiting, it would help. And I truly believe we deserve better than we are getting. But I am more than happy to play the role we’ve been given, and as a team I know that we relish in it.
But I can personally say that I don’t follow our team in the newspapers, I don’t read or have a membership to Rivals or the Boneyard (I know they exist thanks to my old man). I read Chip’s blog because I like his style of writing and his perspective on football is often accurate (in my opinion). I do a segment for TV, which I encourage everyone to watch, but I don’t like watching myself. Just ask my (extremely beautiful) girlfriend. The same with the radio program, I enjoy doing it because its fun and novel and increases the exposure of our program. But like I’ve said previously, I hate the sound of my own voice (its almost too beautiful).
As a corollary, I most CERTAINLY do not read what people write about me in particular. I’ve been at the highest of highs (Game Ball Rutgers Week 2007) to the lowest of lows (bad long/short snaps against Pitt/Rutgers in 2006). Going into 2007 my poor parents were reading up on the team saying that the weakness was going to be the D-line, that apparently I was not going to “measure up to those before me.” I file those away as little notes in my brain and remind myself to keep working hard. Those doubters may have fueled a late night stadium run or two, but little else. The only opinions that matter to me are that of my family and closest friends. It’s a lesson that transcends football–just as you shouldn’t listen to the criticisms, you also should not listen to the praise. Stay grounded and let your faith in God and family guide you.
…Although, I will say, I think I’ve measured up. Thanks, Mom.
3. To the guy who shouted at me during the Husky Walk that “I LOVE YOUR BLOG!!”…Dear Sir, I love you. (And thank you.)
4. To the person who saw me doing my pregame routine during the MCCB, I never considered what it looked like to outsiders, but I bet it does seem pretty absurd. More on this to come.
(UPDATED @ 12:19AM)