Having just read Canzano's piece on Seastrunk transferring, something struck me. It's one of the most well written, sober and concurring pieces that a Duck fan has ever read about a player transferring.
This is all so true:
Young people do unpredictable things when faced with adversity. Seastrunk reportedly wanted to be closer to his grandmother. He wanted out. And in the end, as disappointing as it is, I can't blame him for that.
This is exactly how I feel:
But don't turn on Seastrunk because he decided Oregon wasn't the right place for him. Not any more than you'd turn on the neighbor kid down the street who switched colleges or the family friend who changed careers.
On Saturday, I thought about tweeting, "if anyone wants to blame or chastise a kid for transferring schools and trying to better their situation, they never really had that kid's best interest at heart in the first place." But I didn't tweet it, because I never felt that sentiment from Duck fans. It's the same thing I feel on National Signing Day when fans bad mouth, or berate high school kids for not choosing to sign with their favorite school. As if some blogger, columnist or fan has insight and enough knowledge to know that their school is better for that kid.
Call me when you're living in that kid's house for a year, wrestling and agonizing over this decision and being tugged in a multitude of directions by family, friends and everyone that gives a damn about only themselves. Same thing goes for Seastrunk. For that I commend Canzano for sticking up for him, and realizing the pain this decision had on him.
But in the end, Canzano once again is missing the point.
The Lyles-Seastrunk relationship at this point is nothing more than a media shit storm. While Yahoo's orignial reports were expository, engaging and relevant, the media whirlwind that followed was nothing more than abhorrent.
Did we really need to know the exact details of the relationship between Lyles and Seastrunk's mother? How do you think that little piece of "commentary" felt to Lache? Especially considering the nature of the troubles between Lache and his mom that already existed. What about the details of Lache's recruitment, which by all accounts was already a difficult and tormenting time for a teenager. Did the media need to scrutinize, analyze and obfuscate the most minute pieces of this kid's most tumultuous period of his life? Was he given or just shown an exclusive pair of Air Jordans? Does it really matter?
Don't get me wrong, I'm not naive enough to think that Lache is nothing more than a piece of coal thrown into the media columnist fire that somehow keeps their archaic industry churning. Lache's transfer gives them another reason to write 939 words and sell a couple more web-clicks. For them, the more Lache's the better. Keep shoveling these young innocents towards their ovens and they'll burn them up and smoke them out. Unlike Cliff, they'll never say, "We smoked it all." They need more teenagers making mistakes, gravitating to the wrong mentors, getting caught up in the wrong situations. It's what they actually live on. Seriously, these adults have paychecks that are driven by these types of stories, and yet somehow they're alright with this. God, that just feels terrible.
So as a Duck fan, I wish Seastrunk the best. I too am mournful of the fact that I'll never get to cheer and root for him to fight for a yard for the Green and Yellow, and I wish nothing but the best for him. If other Duck fans feel like bashing or saying bad things about him, go ahead and walk a mile in his Air Jordans. See what it feels like to have grown men want nothing more than to see you torn down for the benefit of their careers. Find out what it feel like to have "columnists" criticize and question every aspect of your upbringing and life because it's what's good for them.
For the Canzano's of the world? Shame on you. You're what's wrong with college sports, not what's right. You can claim to be "adding commentary" or doing your job as a "columnist" but you're as much of the problem if not more. While fans might be upset because they care, pay their hard earn money and give a crap about their school, you make your living sucking the life and draining the enjoyment out of young athletes. So when you transfer, I won't be as kind. I won't care. The sooner it comes the better.
At that point I'll still say to the Lache's of the world "good luck" and to you "good riddance."