I’m not so sure why Skip Bayless saying something dumb/lame in order to prompt a post would be a shocking thing, but I’m just laying the foundation. Skip was on his show with Woody Paige. Shocking that a show on ESPN would make lameass comments, but Skip decided that now, with the arrest of South Carolina QB Blake Mitchell and a punter stabbin’ a fool, that college coaches should ban their players from going to bars.
The hell with that.
Now, this isn’t a “HOORAY…BEER” type of post. Just the fact that someone boozes alone does not make that person COOL or BADASS. Anyone CAN go to a bar and get drunk off their ass. If you want that, read Champ’s bold predictions because for some reason he is talking about the East Lansing bar specials for tonight, as if anyone gives a damn.
So, no, this post is not coming from the angle that college football players should go to the bar because drinking is badass. It’s coming from the angle that part of being a college student is learning responsibility, even if it is something as small as picking what night to go to a bar and what night to walk away from a jackass telling you not to bring underage girls into the bar.
Now, I realize when college athletes go to the bar, they’ve got more of a spotlight than when I walk into the bar. For those that doubt this, let me bring some situations to your feet…
1. You’re at a bar, some jerk is reaching over you and like three other people to try and get the bartender’s attention. Now, he’s like 7 foot tall, German and just generally acting like a fool in trying to get this done. If he’s not on the college basketball team and known as the dumbass tall guy shooting three’s instead of pounding the low block, a line, while you walk away having got your beer first, comparing his drink ordering to basketball strategy just isn’t as funny. Admittedly, the line was something weak like “ordering drinks like you shoot hoops man? You need to force your way up to the goal next time”, but still, it gets by.
2. It’s three a.m., some drunk jackass is hurdling hedges in front of a frat house. Just an annoyance if it’s just some dude, but if it is the STARTING quarterback, it is hilarious. Especially if he’s comparing the hurdles to what he did in specific games…ESPECIALLY…when you know he’s not going to have an NFL career and he’s milking his last moments in the spotlight.
See, drunks do stupid, funny, annoying things all the damn time. With high profile athletes, it becomes comical…especially when they think they’re better than you are.
For the sake of this post, I’m going to assume Blake Mitchell was bringing 18-20 year old underagers into a bar. Benefit of the doubt and the like. I find it hilarious that he probably spent two hours at some lameass house party swearing up and down the river to them that he could get them into a bar and then some bouncer Oakley’s the dude by completely not giving a fuck. It’s not all too uncommon for someone underage to try to get into a bar, sometimes when it happens, a dude can flip out and do something stupid with the bouncer, especially if drunk.
It’s a complete non-story when that happens, but when it is a starting QB who is coming off two awful performances doing it because he has a chip on his shoulder? Hilarious.
I’m not sure why.
So, Bayless’ point, getting back to that, is that given this spotlight and added pressure of people noticing them, and ultimately shit talking them, coaches shouldn’t let their players going to the bar because they can’t hold back when some fool is beaking on them. Please. Some fool is always talking shit on some fool in a bar.
The bottomline, is that you gotta make decisions in life, and whether you want to go to a bar as an athlete that has skin pastey as hell is one of them. If you get drunk, is there the potential for bad things to happen? Uh, yeah. Potential for hell of fun things as well, so you roll the dice. You can’t just tell a kid on the team that he can’t make that choice on his own. You can tell the rest of the team something like:
“look, Blake went to the bar, someone questioned his ability to get underage girls in and Blake slapped the dude…softly. It’s very embarassing for Blake and he’s been crying all morning. Do you want this to happen to you?”
But, you can’t BAN them from drinking alcohol. They’re not little kids, they need to figure things out on their own. Sure, they play this game that entertains masses and when they screw up, it has repurcussions that are a bit different than the average college student. I’m not going to say their repurcussions are more damaging, just different. They are responsible for more than just themselves, but that’s something they need to learn and I don’t see how banning them from the bar and treating them as children is going to help things.
I remember once at undergrad a receiver for the team was at a party not giving a damn about the game tomorrow because all he was on was the hands team. Famous last words, I guess, as the game came down to an onside kick that he had a shot to get. He might not get AS drunk before the next game because of that. Maybe he gets that onside kick if you prohibition his ass, but he probably doesn’t learn as much. And really, that’s what that whole college thing is about. Learning, and clearly not just via the books.
Let the players learn, on their own, with assistance from the coaching staff and the athletic community. Always be there for a player like Blake Mitchell and tell him that his failing to put points on the board ass should not be hitting fools, just banning them from alcohol is kind of like throwing your hands up and not giving a damn. And that’s not going to get you anywhere. Because at some point, if they want that alcohol, they’re going to get it. Let them learn to make these decisions when others of their age make those decisions. Not when it’s too late.