National Signing Day is right up there with National Corndog Day on my list of least favorite unofficial observances. It strikes me as entirely ridiculous that we would celebrate players who haven’t proven themselves on any sort of meaningful level, and who may very well turn out to be complete busts. At least with professional sports drafts, you’re working with players who have (unless you’re the Bears) accomplished something slightly more noteworthy than “State Champs!” In talking to a few friends who have been given the unenviable task of providing 360 degree coverage of National Signing Day, I’m not alone in my journalistic distaste for this, the most maudlin of all American sporting traditions.
Dudes who get excited about the fact that an 18-year-old has committed to their favorite school remind me of the motley crew that waits impatiently outside the Wrigley Field players’ parking lot for hours waiting for Carlos Marmol to sign their 2007 NL Central Division Champs pennant. We all have much better things to do, don’t we? We have to have better things to do.That said, National Signing Day does have a special way of reminding us how … um … sophomoric and awkward 18-year-olds can be. Especially when we meet them in the wake of an illustrious high school career during which they’re told repeatedly that they’re anything but sophomoric and awkward.
Take Dre Kirkpatrick, one of the top cornerback recruits in the nation.
If he has yet to pick a major, may we suggest the theater arts, as Dre certainly has a flair for the dramatic. In the following video, which is chock full of manufactured suspense, Dre informs the nation that the University of Texas Longhorns hat before him “ain’t got no swagger.”If I’m Mack Brown, this is one recruit I’m not upset to let slip through my fingers:Sporting News has the full story here.