Brady Quinn (4 cups)
That pesky Tim Tebow worked his way into the conversation this week. Impressive, considering that it's late February and the world has a new muse in Jeremy Lin. The left-hander was the subject of a GQ piece penned by Mike Silver that relied heavily on quotes from the quarterback's coaches, opponents and teammates. Comments by Brady Quinn were quickly identified as the juiciest, thrusting the ex-Notre Dame gunslinger back into the national spotlight for the first time in a long, long while.
“We've had a lot of, I guess, luck, to put it simply,” the Broncos backup told Silver, which is a fair point. But Quinn continued, questioning if the notoriously humble Tebow is authentic.
“If you look at it as a whole, there's a lot of things that just don't seem very humble to me. When I get that opportunity, I'll continue to lead not necessarily by trying to get in front of the camera but by praying with my teammates, you know?”
Embroiled in the immediate backlash, Quinn apologized to Tebow and claimed he'd been misrepresented. His comments, he assured everyone, in no way reflected his true feelings about his teammate.
Of course not.
People can question Tebow's abilities all they want. That's fine. As a professional football player, it's irresponsible not to hold him to the highest of standards. To question his faith, albeit indirectly, is another issue altogether. If Quinn is so focused on being a God-fearing leader himself, shouldn't he be proud and inspired of someone displaying the same principles he holds dear? Isn't there something about ignoring the speck in your neighbor's eye in the Bible?
Last I checked, Tebow didn't invite cameras to NFL games. They're kind of there already. When someone like him rightly or wrongly becomes the nation's most-scrutinized entity, they're going to focus on that athlete.
This tastes of sour grapes from Quinn, a player with previous experience existing in the suffocating bubble of attention. And we all know that those turn into whines.
So shut up and play, Brady. Or, more likely, just shut up.
Davonte Neal (3 cups)
The college recruiting process has become a farce and it's getting worse. Want a reminder? Familiarize yourself with the story of Davonte Neal, a four-star wide receiver from Scottsdale, Ariz. After a long-running power struggle with his father, Neal called a press conference at his elementary school on Tuesday. Nearly 600 students were pulled from class and patiently waited the recruit's big reveal. The only problem is that he didn't show up.
You see, Neal wanted to stick close to home and go to Arizona. His father wanted him to go to Notre Dame. It seems a decision, which the pass-catcher had delayed already, just couldn't be reached.
Later on in the day, Neal showed up to the school, asked to apologize to a bunch of classrooms and finally selected to play his college ball in South Bend. That part is actually kind of nice. What isn't is that the entire fiasco was completely unnecessary. Somewhere along the line, just signing on to play at a top-tier university wasn't enough. Instead of it being the culmination of untold hours of hard work and dreams, it became a platform for a 17- or 18-year-old to put on a show.
It's not as if these kids alone carry the yoke of responsibility. It's plausible they don't understand that it wasn't always like this. It's up to people with a sense of history to provide the obviously much-needed perspective. All too often, those voices of reason are noticably absent from the entire process.
I mean, think about it. Six hundred kids took a timeout from their education so they could be unwilling participants in a manufactured fiasco. Sure, they probably weren't on the precipice of discovering the cure for cancer in their second-grade classrooms, but come on. And then for Neal to not show up? Well, that's inexcusable.
Making yourself the center of attention means accepting an elevated level of responsibility. Want to be hot? Don't complain win the flame burns you.
It remains a mystery to me why so many college-bound kids out there are holding their matches so close to the kerosene.
Neal won't be the last of his peers to embarrass himself, but it's going to be hard to botch the process more severely than he did.
Elijah Dukes (2 cups)
The sky was the limit for Dukes, one of baseball's best prospects a lifetime ago. Now he's proving just how low he can go. The former Tampa Bay Ray and Washington National was arrested last night after he allegedly tried to eat a bag of marijuana during a routine traffic stop.
This arrest joins the dozens in Dukes' dossier, with offenses ranging from domestic violence and drug possession to failure to pay child support. And while it's sad to see someone just throw away their life, Dukes is doing nothing to make anyone feel sorry for him.
After being released by the Nationals in 2010, he went on a scorched-earth tour, talking to practically any publication that would listen about his fellow players' drug habits. He was then surprised and outraged when no major-league team picked him up. Ignoring the heaping pile of baggage he takes with him everywhere he goes, he claimed he was being blackballed for having the courage to speak out.
Get out of here, man.
It's so disappointing to see someone fail to even take a modic*m of blame for their actions, which seems to be Dukes' most consistent trait.
Luckily, he doesn't even need baseball. He's got a burgeoning rap career upon which to fall back.
Stay hungry, Eli. Stay hungry.
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castana (1 cup)
The Spanish golfer was defeated by Tiger Woods in first-round action yesterday at the Match Play Championship after publicly stating that golf's biggest name was “beatable”. Now, not that there's anything wrong with that. Confidence is a good thing, perhaps the best of things when kept in check.
The problem with upping the ante on Woods like that before a one-on-one challenge is that it's just kind of stupid.
One has to look far and wide to find an athlete as competitive as Woods. To give him bulletin board material, even something as seemingly mundane as what GFC offered, is unequivocally the wrong strategy.
For his part, Woods downplayed the motivation Fernando-Castana provided.
“It used to (bother me) quite a bit when I was younger,” he said. “But I've matured and gone beyond that. It's their prerogative, it's their opinion. What matters is how I go out and play and how I'm progressing in my game.”
Right, and if you believe that, he's got some real estate down in Florida he'd like to sell.
The Spaniard should remember that it's best to let sleeping dogs lie, not to pull on Superman's cape and never, ever tug on Tiger's tail.
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