Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Blinded by the light

I had forgotten how much hype surrounded Stephen Garcia's arrival in Columbia. Reading through cocknfire's very honest summarization of the qb's time on campus makes you hope Coach McLendon is a better role model for Crowell than Magnus has been.

What's somewhat amazing, despite all the attention to his off-the-field distractions and his sometimes poor decisions on-the-field, is that Garcia still has an opportunity to go down as one of the most accomplished quarterbacks in South Carolina history. A slightly better season than last year would give him the career records for passing yardage at South Carolina. The same number of touchdown throws as Garcia had in 2010 would also give him the No. 1 spot on that list. And of course, Garcia is the only quarterback in school history to lead the team to an SEC East championship -- an accomplishment they're often favored to repeat this year -- and only the second to lead them to a championship of any kind. That would be an impressive resume for someone who hadn't been through everything Garcia has.
And you have to wonder: What could Garcia have accomplished if he had applied himself earlier in his career, and if he hadn't missed literally dozens of practices over the course of his career?
But Garcia could have applied himself, and he could have had all that practice time he missed. No one or nothing forced him to make the poor decisions he made. That's what is most tragic about stories like Garcia -- the only enemy he had that seemed to be capable of holding him back all these years was Stephen Garcia.
All kidding aside, it's never too surprising how teenagers who've spent their formative years getting any and all attention from their classmates, family, friends and coaches can slip up. 

Again and again.

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