There were some truly amazing performances this week. The Blackhawks still haven’t lost in regulation. LeBron does crazy dunks pre-game. And Steph Curry exploded against the Knicks. And yet none were as impressive as the genius of Rich Tran.
Tran is a senior at Dominion High School in Virginia and played linebacker and fullback for the football team. But not a lot. In fact, he estimates he played maybe 40 plays this year.
But that didn’t stop him from doing what every high school football player dreams of by putting together a recruiting video of highlights of his football career.
Except Rich’s tape shows him making his lone tackle of the season and than various hilarious shots of him running after a guy scoring a touchdown or blocking a guy barely visible on camera or greatest of all, just standing on the sidelines. It’s brilliant.
We could talk about the ridiculousness of the younger and younger recruiting going on and the entire business created by the recruiting industry, particularly with slick, expensive videos (or this one by MLB star Yoenis Cespedes). Or we could talk about how awesome it is to have a video of you doing random stuff on the football field.
I honestly wish I was this clever in high school and now awkwardly find myself wanting to be friends with a high schooler in Virginia. It’s easy to forget how fun sports are and that they’re just a game. And being able to poke fun at your own athletic prowess is the one of the greatest reminders of that ever.
I loved the video so much I tried to get him a spot on a college team. I emailed the video to my friend who is a Division II football coach and he said he enjoyed the video but “really wished there were more clips of him standing on the sideline.”
I hate talking about real issues but that’s what happens when we live in a world where Manti Te’o’s girlfriend doesn’t.
So during the NFL Scouting Combine for all of the draft prospects, besides doing all the important things like seeing how fast a guy can run 120 feet and how good they are at jumping, NFL teams also reportedly took the time to question the sexuality of their players. At least according to so far to Nick Kasa, who was then backed up by Le’Veon Bell.
I can understand why teams want to ask these questions, after all, it doesn’t seem like it would go over too well with certain locker rooms. But in the world we live in where we are so close to a major breakthrough with sports and gays, when it seems like any day now when we will have a gay sports star, the NFL (or at least some times, reportedly) is basically encouraging that not to happen. As pointed out by Brendan Ayenbadejo, telling the truth will hurt you financially.
You can ignore the fact that asking these questions is illegal to begin with, especially since the NFL is bigger than the law. It’s a league where there are players who have killed people are more accepted than a potential gay athlete.
I think the world is ready for a gay athlete and it would do a lot as far as making strides for accepting homosexuality in the world. But with the pretty open discrimination in the biggest league in sports, it doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen soon enough.
Follow Scott Bolohan on Twitter: @scottbolohan
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