Millennials get blamed for a lot these days. Killing grilled cheese, divorce, napkins, real estate, etc. The list goes on. The newest addition to the list is college football. Swarms of Baby Boomers took to the internet over the weekend to make their opinion known on Will Grier’s decision to sit out the World Camping Bowl against Syracuse. The NCAA has created a world that athletes are seen as performers that are put on the field for our entertainment. “Finish what you started” they scream from their couches without taking into account how difficult of a decision it really is. “You’re giving up on your teammates” as if they know that they weren’t include them in the discussion.
Will Grier has given everything he possibly could to West Virginia Univeristy. After leaving Florida with a 6-0 record, he had his picking of any school in the country. He bought into the opportunity of showcasing his ability playing in a high powered Big 12 offense. Took the time to create bonds with receivers like David Sills, making them one of the best duos in the country. He bought into the culture of West Virginia. Spending his off time giving back to the community. There isn’t much more that could be asked of him. But at the first inconvenience, fans did their best to attack the character of someone they don’t really know.
As presented in the above chart by footballoutsiders.com, overall injury rates have continually increased since 2007. With the help of social media, videos of gruesome injuries are easily accessible. It has been reported that Alex Smith has a possibility of losing his leg due to infection from the compound fracture suffered in a game a few weeks ago. The game can be taken away from someone that quickly.
With players today being bigger, faster, and stronger then ever before, maybe millennials are just more knowledgeable than any other generation. Many of us can’t even fathom the thought of having millions of dollars in our bank account. So who are we to judge a young man with a wife and child to do what is best for his family. This is a trend that will continue and it’s not a terrible thing. Low level bowl games aren’t going anywhere but the purpose of the game should be viewed differently. This is a preseason game. Jack Allison gets a month worth of firs team reps and 60 minutes of playing time to show what next season will look like. There will be guys that want to compete one more time with the boys and I understand that decision too. Each player should be able to make their own decision based on their situation.
I am a huge West Virginia fan, and with that being said Grier is one of my favorite players to ever put on the jersey. Do I want to see him one more time? Of course I do. I can see the big picture though. I believe that most fans are on my side and they understand why this decision was made. But I’ve never been more ashamed at a small portion of the fan base disrespecting a fellow Mountaineer for doing what’s best for him. Once a Mountaineer, always a Mountaineer.