I feel like I’m going through puberty again.
But, rest assured, this isn’t the puberty that popular culture is used to — or the puberty you, reading this during study hall, are currently going through.
I’m asking, “Is this what you feel like all the time,” to my older brother — only, in this case, my older brother is a football powerhouse like (shameless plug) Notre Dame.
This must be what current students and alumni feel like at the bigger universities when their quarterback gets drafted by an NFL franchise, but I’ve never experienced it before.
I’m a walking taco of emotions.
Jimmy Garoppolo’s draft night story is too ironic. The New England Patriots called his name on Friday, the second night of the NFL Draft. His agents and Tom Brady’s agents are the same dudes. He said Brady is his favorite player, which I would’ve laughed at had he not told me in person a few years ago.
That’s right. I’ve talked to Garoppolo on multiple occasions. As I wrote in a previous column, I was the Eastern Illinois football beat reporter during his freshman season for the school’s student newspaper and then watched him for the next two seasons.
Now, the Boston Globe is writing stories and posting videos about him. He’s cornered by a tidal wave of cameras in Gillette Stadium, answering questions about being Tom Brady’s heir apparent.
All I can think about: Why didn’t I see it four years ago?
I would’ve moved into his apartment, gone to his classes and went to church with his parents if I knew he was going to be an NFL quarterback — anything to get the inside scoop on the greatest person to come to EIU since rap mogul Drake.
On draft night, my Facebook friends reacted in Costco bulk. Why, I asked. Probably because they feel like they’re a part of something, a wise person told me.
Of course, the answer was too clear. Garoppolo basically sucked the entire student body and alumni association into a space bag and took it with him to New York.
It’s different to note that Tony Romo, Sean Payton and Mike Shanahan are EIU alums because I’m in no way connected to them.
I hung out at the same hotspots as Garoppolo in Charleston and studied in the same library, so hearing his name called on draft night was a pretty cool feeling.
But he was picked by the Patriots to back up Tom Brady, a team and player which I strongly dislike, and to, apparently, take his place when he retires.
The immediate comparison was made: He’ll be like Aaron Rodgers to Brett Favre. My response: Give me a break. By all accounts, Rodgers and Favre hated each other. Favre didn’t help Rodgers, he despised him. It was a strained student-teacher relationship that never was.
If Garoppolo is the guy, he’ll replace a Hall of Famer and, in that respect, the situations are similar, but aligning Garoppolo and Rodgers is a little crazy, right?
Remember, Rodgers was almost the number one pick of the 2005 NFL Draft. Since then, he has turned into the best quarterback in the league. Garoppolo was never attached to first overall discussions and nobody can tell me if he will or wont turn into the best quarterback in the NFL in the next decade.
Green Bay got lucky, honestly (says the Packers fan). Drafting a quarterback is a shot in the dark. A team could go from Joe Montana to Steve Young, or from Dan Marino to Jay Fiedler.
At least, the Patriots are smart in preparing for the future. A quarterback fell to them, they liked him, so they grabbed him. When Green Bay drafted Rodgers, quarterback wasn’t high on a list of needs either.
I imagine by the time Garoppolo’s opportunity comes to start in New England, most EIU folks will have returned to their normal NFL fanatical lives and forgotten all about this draft. But there may come a time for all of this to be revisited. Then, it will start a fresh conversation.
I suppose students at traditional football powerhouses have been so overexposed to all of this that they don’t normally feel anything foreign about a player being drafted.
Garoppolo doesn’t make me a Patriots fan and I won’t be buying his jersey. If and when he becomes the Patriots’ starter, he’ll be my nemesis like any other quarterback against the Packers.
That’s the way things should be.
Alex McNamee can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 123, or alex.mcnamee@effingham dailynews.com.
I feel like I’m going through puberty again.
Effingham's season comes to a close with 11-1 loss to Salem
A 1-0 lead for Effingham Post 120 rapidly evaporated, and the post’s Junior Legion season came to an end with a 11-1 loss in five innings to Salem Post 128 Tuesday night.
The game was for the final spot of District 23 in the divisional tournament, with Newton Post 20 and Breese Post 252 Gray punching their tickets by winning their district divisions.
Newton Post 20 falls short against Breese Gray 9-3
While the District 23 title ultimately exceeded Newton Post 20’s grasp, their season will continue in Bethalto.
Newton took on Breese Post 252 Gray for the Junior Legion District 23 title as the two division winners, but Breese’s bats proved too much for Newton in an 9-3 loss for Post 20.
“The innings where they put some runs on us, we gave them some extra outs,” said Newton coach John Grunloh. “You’ve got to make the plays when you play better teams.”
Barnes' one-hitter boosts Post 120; Effingham beats Dieterich 1-0
Ryan Barnes hasn’t seen a lot of time with Effingham Post 120’s junior legion team this season, but he showed up in a big way Monday night in a 1-0 win over Dieterich Post 628.
The win kept Effingham’s season alive one more day in the Junior Legion District 23 tournament, as the post will face Salem Post 128 at 5:30 p.m. today for the district’s final spot in the divisional round. Salem Post 128 downed Mt. Vernon Post 141 1-0 in the West Division loser’s bracket, setting up the final with Effingham today.
Newton Post 20 tops Effingham Post 120 7-5 late
Most of the games at the Junior Legion District 23 tournament have seen pitching take control, but the pitchers in Sunday night's Effingham Post 120/Newton Post 20 game faced an uphill battle.
While Brock Mammoser started the game for Post 20 on the hill and struggled, he came through with the biggest hit in the game, putting Newton up for good in a 7-5 win over Effingham.
Dieterich Post 628 eliminates Teutopolis Post 924 3-2
Errors proved to be Teutpolis Post 924's undoing against Dieterich Post 628, as Dieterich's sixth-inning rally in an 3-2 win were boosted by three Teutopolis errors
To lead off the sixth, Trenton Poe reached on an error by Brock Bueker, and came around to score on an infield single by Ryan Radloff with a throwing error on Bueker. Poe was already on third when the ball went in the Teutopolis dugout, awarding Poe home to tie the game.
Bryce McClain followed with an RBI single to score Radloff and put Post 628 up for good. Dieterich scored again on a Briar Schmidt groundout where first baseman Brant Bueker tried to get an inning-ending out at second, but the throw was wild and brought home McClain.
Teutopolis, Deters down Altamont Post 512 2-0
TEUTOPOLIS — Lucas Deters didn't get a ton of run support from his Teutopolis Post 924 teammates, but he didn't need much in a complete-game shutout, and Teutopolis ended Altamont Post 512's season with a 2-0 win Sunday afternoon.
Deters' efforts at the Junior Legion District 23 tournament kept Teutopolis alive in the loser's bracket to face Dieterich Post 628 immediately following the win.
Two-out rally pushes Dieterich to win; Post 628 beats Vandalia Post 95 4-3
Down one with two outs and Vandalia Post 95 ace Zach Schaal coming in in relief, Dieterich Post 628 had a tough task to keep its season alive.
But down 3-2, Cole Hartke and Charlie Thoele laced back-to-back singles to score Briar Schmidt and Flach, respectively, to take a 4-3 lead.
Clayton Campton held the lead in the seventh, striking out two and getting Post 95 in order to keep Dieterich's season alive.
Late Newton rally downs Robinson 4-2
Newton Post 20 rarely had an answer for Robinson Post 69's Brayden Burch, but thanks to a few key Robinson errors, Newton took their District 23 opener 4-2 Friday night.
With the game tied at 1-1 in the bottom of the sixth, Mitch Jansen led off with a walk, followed by Tim Weber reaching on an error by Robinson shortstop Zander Laino and a bunt single by Luke Geier.
Mike Carr came through with a bloop single to center, scoring Jansen to put Newton up 2-1.Burch struck out John Grunloh and Joe Stone, but second baseman Cameron Neese booted a grounder by Mitch Bierman and two more runs scored.
Teutopolis takes down South Central 3-1
Teutopolis Post 924 scored its first run two batters into the game and would never trail from there, holding off late rallies from South Central Post 519 to win 3-1 at the Junior Legion District 23 tournament Friday night.
Post 120 pulls away from Dieterich
A pitcher’s duel between Effingham’s Will Clausius and Dieterich’s Charlie Thoele broke not at the plate, but on the mound.
Tied 0-0 in the bottom of the fifth, Effingham Post 120 got its first run via a bases-loaded, two out balk. The lead would hold up as Post 120’s offense sparked, and Effingham beat Dieterich Post 628 5-0 in the Junior Legion District 23 tournament opener.
- More Sports Headlines
- Effingham's season comes to a close with 11-1 loss to Salem