Where Smart Picks Go to Die
First off, allow me to apologize for the lack of a show this week. Things have been busy at OPOC HQ, and sometimes life (which contrary to this post’s title is not really like recruiting) gets in the way. It remains a possibility that we will have a show before National Signing Day (NSD), which occurs this upcoming Wednesday. NSD is a magical day when 18 year old boys can utilize an ancient technology (fax machines) to declare their collegiate gridiron intentions. It’s also a day when millions of men ages 25-50 hang all of their happiness on the actions of 18 year old boys. So it goes.
Anyway, these days recruiting isn’t just about NSD – it happens year round. With the advent of recruiting websites, televised high school all star games, etc., recruiting has become almost as widely followed as the games themselves in the fall. Sometimes, the twists and turns of recruiting get a little bit nuts. Take for instance, the situation with Reuben Foster. A recruit highly coveted by both Auburn and Alabama (who just happens to be finishing his high school career in Auburn), Foster strangely left in the middle of his official visit (OV) to Auburn yesterday and ended up in Tuscaloosa that evening. Each recruit gets to take 5 official visits – a fully paid trip by the school which is the football program’s big chance to “wow” the 18 year old, tell him how awesome he is, and tell him how he will be the next Cam Newton/Trent Richardson/Ray Lewis, etc. It’s unusual for a recruit to leave right in the middle of one of these OVs.
These strange occurrences got me thinking: what if real life was like recruiting? Here’s a few scenarios that might play out were that the case:
CHOOSING YOUR FIRST JOB OUT OF COLLEGE
You’ve set up a press conference in the living room of your musty college apartment. On the table in front of you are three polo shirts with company logos. ESPNU is showing live shots of top executives at each company, huddled around a boardroom table, waiting with baited breath. You walk into the room and say, “I just want to start by thanking everyone who’s helped me get to this point: my mom, my dad, my chemistry professor. I just want everybody to know that I’m committing to GE. It just feels like family there. I have a great relationship with all the middle managers, and I really like their facilities (cubicles near windows!)” You promptly sign your offer letter, scan it to PDF, and then email it to your new boss.
CHOOSING A WIFE
You’re down to your top three. Each has some qualities you really like, but, like everything, nobody’s perfect. You’ve decided you’re going to take each of your official visits. You arrive for your first official visit at the girl’s parents’ house. Her mother has an incredible spread of fried chicken and all the fixin’s. Everyone is so friendly and keeps talking about their faith and how they will always be there for you. You like all of this, but the girl is not the most beautiful woman you’ve ever seen. You decline to speak to reporters the next day as you are leaving.
You take your next visit the following weekend. This girl is smokin’ hot and knows it. However, she has a very protective and, shall we say, controlling father. He is well known for playing multiple suitors against each other for his daughter’s hand. At the same time, he tells you that you don’t want to choose girl #1, because as good as things may seem, everything for her family is about to come crumbling down. It seems that the IRS has gotten some tips from the wife of another prominent protective father in Mississippi about girl #1’s family. The controlling father also tells you that once you commit to his daughter, you’re not allowed to hang out with any other women – ever – even though his daughter can hang out with as many other men as she likes.
You’re not too sure about your final visit, but some of your buddies convince you to go anyway and make it a group visit, as this girl has a twin sister. Things quickly get weird, however. Everyone in the family is talking about how successful they used to be back in the 90’s. Then, out of nowhere, everyone starts whooping and hollering and taking their shirts off. Strange, indeed.
In the end, it turns out that you’re grades in school weren’t good enough to satisfy any of your potential choices. You end up settling for an older woman, named Juco, to get some experience and hopefully get back in the game in a year or two.
CHOOSING A RELIGION
You’re thirteen years old and it’s time to choose a religion. Everyone in your family has chosen Judaism, for literally thousands of years. You really like the tradition that Judaism has, but you feel like your worship style is better suited for a hurry-up, fast-paced setting.
You try a contemporary Christian church. After your visit, you tell reporters, “Pastor Mark is really cool – I feel like I can talk to him about anything. He gave me a copy of their playbook to study up on, but it’s really long. All anybody kept talking about was this former coach they used to have – Jesus. It was weird though, because I already knew some of the other people from this church and they don’t seem to follow Coach Jesus’s rules real well.”
Feeling like the administration is telling you one thing, and the parishioners acting another, you decide to “shock the world” by going with Scientology. Your new leader, Tom Cruise, has just hired an impressive staff including, among others: Bobby Knight and Lane Kiffin.