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National Signing Day not important, but the signings are

POSTED: February 1, 2012 1:16 p.m.

On the off chance you don’t have a college football team to root for, consider this fair warning: Today is national signing day.
That means you’d best go hide in a closet if you don’t want to read, hear or see anything related to it.
Some folks even capitalize today — they say it’s National Signing Day — as if it were the Fourth of July or Memorial Day or something along those lines.
Which it isn’t. Or shouldn’t be.
Instead, it’s just a day when the latest crop of the most sought-after high school football players in the land make official which college programs they’ll grace with their presence.
Sure, the day has made plenty of supposedly grown men squeak like teenaged girls at a Justin Bieber concert. It’s also provided quite a comfortable living for others, because above all else, the college football recruiting process has more hanger-ons than a whole herd of Paris Hiltons scouting for new BFFs.  
Somehow, they, and all of us who take college football way more seriously than we should, have turned national signing day into, well, National Signing Day. It’s a spectacle. A sideshow.
It’s hooey.
You want to know why so many SEC football players land in hot water?
At least part of the secret lies in what’s happening today. Too many of these kids swallow the hyperbole that surrounds them — they think they’re  above mere mortals. And you can’t blame them. Look at how much attention we give to their exploits. But don’t get me wrong.
I happen to love college football, still, despite its excesses. I also have no problem with the time-honored tradition of college signings.
There’s something quite nice about seeing young kids realize their dreams of playing at the next level.
But we’re not talking about the same thing here, not at all.
College signings are about the realization of one dream and the promise of more; National Signing Day is all about making a buck.
It’s not about the kids. It’s about selling jerseys and season tickets. It’s a manufactured event, like the Super Bowl, which most folks tune in to watch for the commercials anyway.
Look, there’s plenty worth celebrating about kids getting scholarships. There’s much still to love about college football.
There’s just not much to cheer when it comes to National Signing Day.

 

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