Remember the days of Little League. The days where sunflower seeds were our currency. The days where you were only cool if you wore high socks. The days where we spent as much time perfecting the bend of our cap as we did our ability on the field. But with all that, there was something that always bothered me: All Stars.
It wasn’t the fact that I should have made the team. I was the Chone Figgins of my league when it came to batting. I lived at the bottom of the order for years and never really saw any improvement. I made my bread in the field, though. Third base. Hot corner. Ever heard of it? But that is beside the point. Every year there would be an all star team compiled of the best players in the league, and for the most part this was true. But every year I could not help but notice that almost every coach’s son made the team. Even the ones that just flat out sucked. I was always bothered by this, and was happy to see that go as I left Little League in fifth grade and went on to bigger and better things (not really).
On Wednesday morning I woke up and heard some news; news that could not help but remind me of those tainted all star teams of Little League. How outside forces and not on-field production and skill affected the selection. This news I speak of is the 2012 Mackey Award, handed out each season in college football to the best TE in the country.
Let’s do a quick exercise. I am going to list three candidates’ stat lines, without divulging their names or team, and you decide for yourself who should have won:
Player A: 66 receptions, 837 yards, 6 touchdowns
Player B: 66 receptions, 791 yards, 6 touchdowns
Player C: 44 receptions, 624 yards, 4 touchdowns
I think we would all agree that Player A had the best year, with Player B a close second, and Player C a fair distance behind the two (Here’s where my Little League analogy begins to make sense, I promise).