Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Hazards of Hype

Mitch Sherman takes part of the blame for the Harrison Beck situation in today's Omaha World-Herald:

He (Beck) was a bust, maybe the biggest ever in Lincoln, considering the expectations heaped upon Beck two years ago in the months before he graduated from Clearwater (Fla.) Countryside High School.

Whose fault is that? Certainly not Beck's. He didn't ask for the attention.

Other factors, no doubt, helped lead to his eventual downfall. But perhaps the single most destructive force in Beck's crash-and-burn stay at Nebraska involved the unreasonable media coverage devoted to a football player who had accomplished nothing at the collegiate level.

Beck, as Bill Callahan's first star quarterback recruit, had almost no chance but to fall short of expectations.

As news media, we are guilty of fueling the fire. Beck was portrayed as a perfect prospect, the savior of a program desperate two years ago for a big personality with an even bigger right arm.

Actually, I'll blame services like Rivals and far more. These "recruiting" services with their "star" ratings and evaluations lead some folks to believe that national championships are won in February. The rest of the media merely follow along, lemmings to Tom Lemming, setting these high school kids as the "next" Matt Leinart, the "next" Adrian Peterson. And some fans eat it up, swallowing it hook-line-and-sinker.

Now that Beck has left, it's now fashionable to bash him. I've had my concerns about Beck's maturity level, but I'm wishing him the best as he moves on. For his sake, a year at a junior college out of the spotlight might do him some good.


b_dunn2003 said...

There have been bigger busts in recent NU history such as Thunder Collins and/or Bobby Newcombe to name a couple. If Beck is truly as gifted as BC and his Mom thinks, then he will find a home somewhere. We will just have to wait and see.

AJ said...

A classy post.

You are giving husker fans a bad name my friend.


Brandon said...

"Lemmings to Tom Lemming"...I love it! I actually saw Mr. Lemming for the first time on television last night during his show "Generation Next" or some such crap, on CSTV. Weird guy.

I know his career is based on scouting high school football players, but seeing him in action is a little creepy. He's the guy who is just a little too friendly with the star athletes, just a little too "hip" for his age, and you start to ask yourself why is he reaching so desperately for the acceptance of these kids?

I shook my head for 30 minutes straight.

jjj112665 said...

If I remember correctly Collins and Newcombe both stuck it out at NU even though they didn't get the playing time, touches, or play the position they wanted to while Beck just quit. I would say that makes him a far bigger bust then either of the other two. Both Collins and Newcombe say consideralbe playing time and contributed to NUs success. Beck saw limited time (mostly because they were going to redshirt him but not entirely I would guess for that reason) and did little to contribute to last seasons success, again making him a bigger bust then Collins or Newcombe.