“This is the biggest decision of my life. It means not only where I will play football but, most likely, who I will marry, who my best friends for life will be, where I will live. It means everything. And the one thing I know for sure is I’m too young to make this kind of decision by myself.”
Any guesses? The person who said this was the infamous Todd Marinovich. This former quarterback had issues from a dad who raised him to be a football player from day one and ended up with some severe alcohol and drug problems.
And while the outcome for this athlete isn’t exactly great, that quote really stood out to me in reading that article. He was a teenager at the time and was more mature than most college athletes. Who really thinks about the athletic recruiting process this way?
I know I didn’t think about that at all when making a college choice. I picked a school that had recruited me and I ended with lifelong friends and my eventual wife. In my mind, Marinovich was right dead on in that quote. No doubt about that.
As a teenager, there is no doubt that this will be the biggest decision of your life. What other life altering decisions have you made before this? Who to go to prom with? Who to ask to Homecoming? What shoes you should buy for the season? I remember making very little choices that had much magnitude when I was that age.
I have felt that athletics at any level has what I call built in friends. If you play a sport, chances are that you will befriend your teammates. Having these built in friends makes going to college easier because you don’t have to worry as much trying to find those who are similar. Most athletes on most teams have similar backgrounds for the most part. You will be spending most of your time with them so they become your best friends in college and that relationship continues afterwards as well.
His quote about his future wife, while I don’t know it is true for him, is true for many people. As mentioned, there is no possible way that I would have met my wife without going to the same college as her. Destiny may happen but for someone that lived hundreds of miles away, it just wouldn’t have happened otherwise.
And the last part of the quote really stood out to me as well. I know for sure is I’m too young to make this kind of decision by myself. Athletes, read that over one more time. You are basically too young and immature so you need input from your family. They have your best interests are heart and will help you anyway that you can.
Todd Marinovich may not have been able to live up to NFL stardom like his dad predicted but that quote made me gain a lot of respect for him. He knew he was too immature to make the decision himself and also was aware of the impact his decision would make. Think about that quote for a while before making a rushed college decision.