Christian McCaffrey’s Heisman Snub Is A Cardinal Sin
A terrific piece by Vinne Iyer!
McCaffrey wasn’t going to get the Heisman this year for, in my opinion, racial reasons. Black players have been favored for the award for many years probably due to “white guilt” of the East Coast writers who vote for the awardee and also due to a reverse racist misconception that black running backs and quarterbacks are somehow “more gifted” than white ones. The last white running back to win the Heisman was John Cappelletti…way back in 1973.
Iyer is right to mention East Coast envy of or disrespect for West Coast school players. The Pac-12 teams have more talent than most East Coast schools and have done well in The Rose Bowl and other bowl games against the Big Ten school teams.
And then there’s the lack of respect for a “brainy” school like Stanford, where players have to be bright and not “dumb-asses with C averages or worse” to get in and stay in. GPAs have to be sky-high–almost 4.0–to get into Stanford except on scholarships. In point of fact, having to have a high GPA AND THEN performing on the field as McCaffrey has done should give him more respect.
I don’t fault McCaffrey for his decision to leave a year early. I see a number of reasons he’s leaving, the biggest probably being his being passed over for the Heisman last year and again this year. He clearly felt he deserved the award last year. Henry’s numbers couldn’t equal the multi-faceted McCaffrey and he wasn’t nearly “the exciting player” McCaffrey is. This year, he’s been awesome but again, he was snubbed for the award, this time not even being listed or mentioned.
Next year? It is fairly obvious that McCaffrey wouldn’t have been the top Heisman candidate in 2017 for two reasons: 1) Stanford’s awful offensive line which led to his lower numbers this year and getting banged up, a line that needs to be revamped and with its few good players graduating this year and 2) Stanford’s passing game is going to explode next year with freshman Donald Stewart replacing the graduating Michael Rector. Stewart could be “the next Gene Washington” (though he’ll never be a quarterback), a kind of “impact-receiver” Stanford hasn’t had for many years. The focus will be on him.
RB Bryce Love is no McCaffrey and that will mean a stronger passing game will have to materialize next season. Had McCaffrey stayed, teams would continue to “pooch” kick on 4th down when he wasn’t in the defensive backfield, continue kicking out-of-bounds on punts and bounce-kick kickoffs to front men to keep the ball away from him. This clearly frustrated him this year as it did his fans. Taking the ball away from the best return man in college football was a crime! Look for Love to replace McCaffrey as return man on punts.
Then of course there’s the injury issue. McCaffrey is “a marked man” in college football. He’s humiliated, downright embarrassed defenses. USC gave it to him good and plenty in Stanford’s win at the Colosseum this year as did the Huskie’s defense. But he’s one injury from ending his football career which is another reason to leave early. I don’t believe money has as much to do with his decision but only he knows that.
Won’t he be “a marked man” in the pros? Certainly. It all depends on what team he goes to. I’m hoping he goes to the Steelers though as a playoff team, they’d have to give up a good player and draft considerations for him. The Steelers are a pro-America team–no kneeling players disrespecting the National Anthem. They also have a great QB in Rothlesberger and terrific wide receivers. They could use a great punt and kickoff return man like McCaffrey. In fact, he would make them a great team, in my opinion.
The two teams I hope McCaffrey DOESN’T go to are the 49ers and the Broncos. Both have anti-America players and both teams refuse to penalize those players for showing their disrespect for our country. While I hope he goes to the Steelers, he’ll more likely go to either the Browns or the Bears. His good friend Kevin Hogan is the third string QB with the Browns. I’m sure he’d love to play for the Broncos as he’s from Colorado and would be “the hometown kid”.
Wherever Christian McCaffrey goes in the draft, I wish him the best of luck in the NFL. I hope he returns to Stanford someday to finish his schooling. Most such players who leave school as juniors for the pros never do.
By Vinnie Iyer at Sporting News