Sometimes, it feels like people find issues with things just because they’re not happy unless they’re finding issues with things. Happiness? Tranquility? What is it good for?
The latest installment in Fake Outrage University, of which about 90 percent of the country sometimes feels like it has a degree from, is star college football players skipping bowl games to avoid injury risk that’d hurt their NFL futures.
Folks, seriously, who cares?
The funny thing about being an adult is that all of the sudden you get roped into having to make decisions that tend to irritate one side no matter what you do. For Leonard Fournette of LSU and Christian McCaffrey of Stanford, that decision was to sit out their bowl games and prep for their pro careers unfettered by one final chance to potentially get hurt.
Could it become a trend? Probably. Does it matter? Nah.
Part of being an adult, making career decisions, projecting your own future is to make tough choices that might be better for you or your family but not necessarily in alignment with how everyone thinks.
We all do this, when we choose one job over another, decline a pay raise to not relocate, take a pay raise with the caveat that we have to relocate, whatever. It’s life.
Bowl games are exhibitions, rewards for a good (or anymore, simply mediocre) season. Back in the day, college football’s champions were crowned in advance of the bowl games. They literally were nothing but rewards to sunny places in the winter for teams or fan bases.
Over time, because we seem to need everything to have a reason, college football made bowl games part of the season. Championship votes became tallied after them. More of them were added.
We’ve gone through various systems trying to legitimize bowl games, make more of them more meaningful, add so many it’s tough to keep track of.
That Fournette and McCaffrey (and surely more, now that it’s been pioneered as being okay to do) are sitting out games probably doesn’t mean a ton to their teammates. Football life is a short, finite period of time, and when you’re at the level those guys are at, teammates likely get it.
If they don’t … if they think it’s bush league … well, that’s part of the being an adult and making decisions that will irritate one side no matter what you do. It doesn’t change. It doesn’t end. May we all be weighing how we handle an assuredly millionaire career.
Inevitably, there will be a few guys over the next few years that do the, “I don’t care. I’m playing in a bowl game anyway” thing and get applauded for it. Which, too, is fine.
There’s no right or wrong to this. It doesn’t make bowl games any less important. It doesn’t make Fournette or McCaffrey bad teammates.
We all make financial career decisions several times in our lives, some that make sense to others, some that seem to come from out of left field at the bottom of a bottle of Evan Williams.
Any trend set from here isn’t disturbing, a problem, or any other sanctimonious view that may be had. It’s adults making adult decisions based on their futures that irritate some and please others.
Such is life.