National Signing Day: Five Things That Make It Ridiculous

If you're not a college football fan, you're unaware that today is National Signing Day, when high school seniors sign letters binding them to a college.

If you're a certain type of college football fan -- the type who obsesses over the decision-making process used by 18-year-old pampered jocks, for instance -- you know all too well what today is. It is the day that will make or break your favorite program. Until next year, that is.

Five things that make this day so damn silly for most of us:

5. The Hat Dance
People thought LeBron James overdid it with his self-loving televised declaration of where he'd play this season. They should see all the high schoolers teasing out -- on national TV -- where they will be going, using whatever props come in handy.


4. The coaches' press conferences
Of course, no coach is going to get up there and say, "This latest class? Pretty much sucks. We're doomed." But still, no college coach has met a class he isn't absolutely in love with, at least until after the press conference is over and he starts laying down the law on the recruits who he no longer has to suck up to since they are stuck with him.

3. The fan message boards
A lot of people like to visit the message boards for their favorite team. One word of advice: Don't do it on Signing Day. Everyone's an expert on what the class failed to do or delivered on, what inherent flaws in the head coach's character allowed that prize recruit to slip away at the last moment, etc., etc. It's best to let things die down for a few days until sanity returns. (Note: "Sanity" as defined by the parameters of people who visit college football message boards.)

2. The Twitter and Facebook pages of the recruits
We don't know which is worse -- the often only semi-coherent postings by the kid or the tweets and comments by 45-year-old men, no doubt either wearing their school's jersey or sitting in a cubicle adorned with its paraphernalia, eagerly welcoming the kid "to the family."

1. It just doesn't matter...It just doesn't matter
NFL experts minutely study every inch of game tape and put players through a ridiculously rigorous pre-draft workout and medical checkout. They interview scores of people, trying to find out everything about a prospect's character. Yet the NFL draft is full of busts. How much more difficult is it to judge an 18-year-old who hasn't matured emotionally or physically, who may be going away from home for the first time, who has played against subpar competition?

Answer: It's very hard. For all the so-called experts out there filling airtime, picking who will shine as a college player is very, very hard. Don't think so? Check out this list of players who were ranked among the 50 best recruits five years ago.


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