Dec 2, 2009
I haven’t had the time to write up my usual non-football thoughts this year, and one of the reasons is because I’ve had to spend time helping my oldest son look at colleges. I know, I know. I look fantastic for a guy with a kid that old, but it is true; the day before I found out I was going to be a father, my biggest concern in life was, like, acne or something. Or making sure I got Terry Allen on my fantasy team after his impressive showing down the stretch for the Vikings in ’91.
It’s quite overwhelming, this search. Other than the obvious factor (cost), there are so many things to consider. We know he’s staying in the northeast, after thinking about Southern California earlier this year. That notion disappeared when my kid got the flu this summer and the reality hit that he could have been dealing with that while alone and 3000 miles away. It was a nice thought, and it would have been ballsy, but the kid’s going to still be only 17 when he attends his first college classes in September.
But it’s really hard to differentiate between these schools he’s looking at. If all things are equal, and they appear to be right now, we need a tie-breaker. Since I will pay for this education thanks to NFL Football, why not work that into the decision? The NFL’s been good to me, so it should have a role here. Granted, it’s not my decision, ultimately, but I need to feel good about this, so I’ve now turned my attention to the NFL alumni for the school’s he’s considering. It’s pretty interesting, so I figured I’d share. Here are the school’s he’s applied to.
- University of Delaware – Hey, I’m a huge Joe Flacco fan, and not only have I interviewed him on the radio, the road that goes through his hometown also goes through mine, about 30 miles away. You also have Rich Gannon, and that’s not bad. Ben Patrick? Not so great. But it’s a good school, and I hope he gets accepted.
- University of Massachusetts (UMass) – Not exactly a football powerhouse, and the only football name I can come up with is Marcel Shipp, which isn’t spectacular. Now if I owned a fantasy basketball site, I’d be good to go with Marcus Camby, and of course Julius Irving. At least Frank Black of the Pixies went there, as did Bill Pullman, and Space Balls is one of my favorites. Overall, I like this school, and going to college in the New England/Boston area would be very cool for him.
- Penn State – Lots of choices here, so, if NFL alumni is the lone criteria, my kid’s going to be Nittney Lion. From skill players like Kerry Collins, Franco Harris, Larry Johnson, OJ McDuffie, Bobby Engram, Joe Jurevicius, and Kyle Brady to non-skill guys like Shane Conlan, LaVar Arrington, Paul Posluszny, Jack Ham, and Kareem McKenzie, this school’s loaded. That’s a strong list. Plus, our own Joe “Big Game” Dolan is an alum, which makes this institution so, so temping.
- Rutgers – I’m not feeling this one, since I was way too high on Ray Rice in 2008 and way too low on him in 2009, so I’m not feeling good Karma here at all. The Rice situation may be a deal breaker, and the overall play of TE L.J. Smith doesn’t help. Yeah, sure, my mom went there and all, but I’m probably going to have to strike this one from the list. But I do love Kenny Britt.
- Maryland – Hey, how about the Vernon Davis? I like it. You also have one Boomer Esiason, the best 4-3 MLB in the NFL right now in E.J. Henderson, Shawne Merriman, D’Qwell Jackson, Kris Jenkins, Madieu Williams, Frank Wycheck, and, um, Darrius Heyward-Bey. As an added bonus, you also have Robin Quivers from the Howard Stern Show, and her co-worker Gary “Baba Booey” Dell’Abate is on our site. I occasionally give him bad fantasy advice via e-mail. Even better, Seinfeld Co-Creator Larry David went to Maryland. Ironically, my kid’s including nothing but Seinfeld/Curb your Enthusiasm quotes in his HS yearbook, a tidbit I shared on the Sirius Radio show last Friday with Jeff Schaffer, who was on our show promoting The League, the comedy series he created that airs on FX (check out the last two episodes of the season tomorrow night and next Thursday, by the way). Jeff also wrote for Seinfeld and now for Curb (he directed the season finale that aired last week), and he loves the site so much that he actually told Larry David that my kid’s using some of his quotes in his yearbook, and David got a kick out of it. How cool is that? This is going to be tough to turn down if he gets accepted.
- Fordham – There’s only one as far as I can tell, but it’s a big one: Vince Lombardi. Wow. Denzel Washington can play a little ball, too. By the way, get ready to hear a lot about Fordham Senior QB John Skelton starting in February. Our own Adam Caplan has been all over this guy, and the last time he led the charge nationally about a somewhat unknown QB, it was Joe Flacco in 2008.
- Providence – Do they even have a football team? Actually, they don’t, but they do have a sports alum with the greatest name of all time: God Shammgod. I’m not a big hoops guy, but I do like the college game, and that name is so intoxicating. He was damn good, too.
- Seton Hall – Uh, this place has no shot. For one, they don’t have a football team, and they beat my Duke Basketball team in the 1989 final four with that Australian dude, so I’m not a fan. Maybe if I was a big Bruce guy (Max Weinberg), but I’m not, really. He’s okay, but I don’t believe adoring Bruce is an obligation because I’m from New Jersey (millions disagree with me).
- Drexel – When basketball player Malik Rose is your only notable sports alum, you’re not exactly bringing it – although Chuck Barris from The Gong Show gets my attention and respect. What an entertainer.
So that’s it; he will likely be attending one of these nine schools in the September. If not, he can always fall back on my Alma Mater, the esteemed Rowan University. Our most famous alum? That would be Robert Hedges, aka, Juan Epstein from Welcome Back Kotter. Seriously. True story: before I even knew he had gone there, I was in the cafeteria eating lunch with my friend and saw some guy with his back to me in line wearing sweatpants with gym shorts over them and Chuck Taylor Converse sneakers, and I turned to my friend and asked “Who’s that, Juan Epstein?” He turned around, and it actually was Juan Epstein (who, it turns out, was back on campus teaching an acting class). Another five years, and I may actually be the school’s most famous alum, and that’s as weak as it gets.