18 Year Olds Deserve Better Than This – From the Bird’s Nest
It was National Signing Day, 2007. The nation's #1 rated running back, Joe McKnight of John Curtis Christian School, announced he was signing with USC over LSU.
Needless to say, LSU fans were less than enthralled.
The phone rang. A caller who missed the announcement wanted to know what McKnight's decision was. His response when he found out?
"Well, I wish him the worst."
I was dumbfounded. I went off on the caller after hanging up. How an adult could wish the "worst" to an 18 year told just because he didn't pick HIS school was beyond me. What was the worst? Torn ACL? Achilles? Turf toe on both feet?
He wasn't the only fan who was upset. The John Curtis band was booed at Mardi Gras parades.
I'm not naive. I get recruiting and how important...and vicious...it can be. I understand recruiting is the lifeblood of a program and when you're fighting to win lots of games, those recruits are important.
But some adults, who are supposed to be mature, lose all sense of reality.
And, it's only gotten worse. Especially in the world of social media.
Take the case of Ishmael Sopsher, the highly rated defensive tackle from Amite.
LSU did a great job this year keeping the best players in state. Of all the top prospects that LSU went after, they had gotten every single one. Only Sopsher was keeping the Tigers from running the table.
He chose Alabama.
Now, to be fair, many LSU fans went to his twitter account and congratulated him and wished him well. And, those LSU trolls who degraded him are just an example of what goes on with all major schools during recruiting.
But it doesn't make it right.
Some of them included language so vulgar I can't quote them. But here are others:
Once you leave the boot, don't come back.
U a bitch.
Enjoy the money and the new car.
You fat lazy piece of _____
Didn't want the lazy gorilla anyways
The replies were mostly people who were aghast at the comments. But there were some who applauded the move.
I wish the young man well. Only time will tell if he made the right decision for himself. I hope he has a successful career.
But as I read this and remembered the caller from more than a decade ago, I also remembered Joe McKnight was shot to death in a road rage incident on December 1, 2016.
The caller got his wish. I wonder if he threw a party.