19-year-old and all-around sports enthusiast Bubba Starling has until midnight to decide whether to join the Nebraska football program as a quarterback, or sign with the Kansas City Royals and receive a multimillion-dollar signing bonus.
After the jump, Spencer Hall argues that he should join the Royals, because Nebraska is a terrible destination for quarterbacks. I argue that he should join Nebraska, because the Royals are a terrible destination for human beings. First, though, let's hear from you:
If Bubba Starling is simply interested in financial security, it's a somewhat easy decision to take a signing bonus totaling millions of dollars and join the Royals, rather than join the Nebraska football program for zero dollars. That his decision is even an issue suggests to us that he is like every other athlete, in that he wants to succeed on the field and he wants his team to win.
The Kansas City Royals will never win. They haven't reached the playoffs in a quarter-century, and they have posted losing records in 15 of their last 16 seasons. Throughout, the team and its disciples have espoused the gospel of rebuilding, of the youth movement.
Movement isn't necessarily progress. In fact, it rarely is. The Royals aren't a locomotive efforting its way to the crystalline shore. They are a piston locked deep within the engine of the Lincoln your grandfather drives. Yes, it is "moving," but it doesn't know where it's going, and it sure is dark in there.
This apple is a Golden Delicious apple. This team is a losing team. Spencer surely has a thing or two to say about Nebraska's coach, Bo Pelini, but Mr. Pelini cannot possible assume the mantle of "the worst." That position is already occupied. Stay away.
If you are deciding to play football at Nebraska, please ask yourself the following question: am I a lineman? If not, am I a linebacker or running back? Finally, keep asking these questions by order until you get to "Am I quarterback?" If the answers to this last question is "yes," then you should not attend Nebraska to play football.
This is nothing more personal than suggesting that you should not go to MIT to study liberal arts, or to Le Cordon Bleu to study medicine, or learn carpentry from an armless mime. Nebraska just happens to have a specialty in football, and producing quarterbacks who enjoy long, successful careers is not one of those.
The case studies do not lie: Harrison Beck, Zac Lee, Joe Dailey, Sam Keller, Jamaal Lord, Joe Ganz, and Cody Green should all spell complete and utter horror for you and your prospects of becoming a successful college quarterback, much less an NFL starter. Even the success of Taylor Martinez last year was undercut by injury and disputes with the coaching staff, the result of some kind of curse Nebraska quarterbacks have operated under since they abandoned the option.
That, of course, is the most logical explanation: that no quarterback at Nebraska can succeed until the Huskers bring back the option and restore Nebraska football to its proper glory. Until the Option Pitch Renaissance comes to Lincoln, you are throwing yourself headfirst into a machine that takes good recruits and grinds them into UFL prospects.