A refreshing day among the madness

dshirley@macon.comFebruary 2, 2014 

It’s a day when thousands of high school athletes – mostly football players – across the county will sign their national letters-of-intent and make their college choices official.

It’s a day when the families, friends and coaches of those athletes can celebrate those decisions.

And it’s also a day when “adults” across the nation lose their minds, in both positive and negative fashions.

Yes, there is good and bad about signing day as there is with just about everything in life. But the good, the excitement of the day for the athletes and those around them, far outweighs the bad, positive or negative reactions from fans, depending on the school the student-athlete chooses.

To live and die with choices that teenagers make about where they want to play football is bad enough. To go on a social media site or some chat board and attack those teenagers when they choose another program is one of the worst things in sports. It’s sad, really, and says a lot about the fans who do that. In short, those folks need to get a life and examine their own issues.

But luckily those buffoons who do that are overshadowed by the positive parts of signing day. The looks on the faces of the athletes – a mixture of excitement for the choice and relief that the recruiting process is completed – along with the reactions of their families, are my favorite parts of the day.

Those athletes, for the most part, have worked hard to get there, and their families, friends and coaches, again for the most part, have sacrificed to help them get there. That realization that all that work and all those sacrifices have paid off brings out genuine joy about what’s next to come. And it’s a great part of the day.

No matter how many times you’ve taken part in these signing day ceremonies, and with this being my 21st National Signing Day in this business, I’ve seen my share, it’s an enjoyable sight. Yes, there are parts of the day, and sports in general, to be cynical about, but the excitement from the athletes and those around them is refreshing to see.

And that – not the ridiculous, over-the-top reactions by fans – should be the focus of this day.

Contact Daniel Shirley at 744-4227 or dshirley@macon.com

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