If it feels like I’m trying to subconsciously influence you to become Denver fans, I assure you I’m not (long-suffering Detroit Lions fan—judge if you must, but there wasn’t a sports idol in my childhood better than Barry Sanders). I am, however, a huge Matt Paradis fan, and if you’re not already as well, I’d like to very consciously invite you to be. His entire sports career is just such a perfect microcosm of the Boise State blue collar mentality and the success it brings.
I’ll go ahead and sheepishly acknowledge that I actually had higher hopes for Chancellor James’s career over Darian Thompson, initially. Not that James couldn’t still end up being a great, great player, but I predicted that he would do so ahead of—and crowd out—a certain other record breaking safety and projected NFL starter. That said, between James and the two former 4 star West Mesquiters (as in ‘of West Mesquite High’—not trying to ascribe a southern accent to mosquitoes fleeing the east), the back end of our secondary is in pretty great shape this season.
It’s hard to take seriously a summary that doesn’t include either Darian Thompson or Donte Deayon in its ‘key losses’ section, but this is an east coast publication of some repute, so it’s useful to see how the other half thinks.
While I’m not of the school of thought that believes the game is in any danger of dying out as a result of increased safety concerns, I am a fan of teaching players techniques at a younger age how to be safer.
Related side story: My 8th grade football coach once had us take a knee in practice to read the safety label on our helmets that warned of the possibility of ‘paralysis and/or death’ occurring if you lead with the top of your head while tackling. Periodically, after someone would deliver an ‘unsafe’ hit in practice he would briefly pause practice long enough to yell ‘Paralysis and/or death gentlemen!’, before resuming. Memorable and effective. I played all the way through high school and never once got paralyzed or died.
Just keep moving your mouse over the circles and it will eventually make sense.
“Will it be worth it?”
“I’m gonna answer your question with a question: Are you Australian?”