A lot of people are wondering about Patrick Witt’s decision to play in the Game rather than going to his Rhodes interview. (“That’s very prestigious!” “It’s his future!”) And I must confess, I was a bit confused myself. But after a passionate dinner table conversation with a friend, I will concede: I think he made the right choice. And so my friend doesn’t have the satisfaction of having made an impression on me, let’s call him “Stupid Ugly Guy.”
Stupid Ugly Guy made a couple of compelling points.
1) When the Rhodes interviewer asks about his college career, football is bound to come up. “And what was your culminating football experience?” the interviewer will ask. Witt will respond with a long, uncomfortable silence which will not help his chances.
2) The bonds of team sports are stronger than most people who don’t play team sports understand. You simply cannot hang your team out to dry, especially when they’re depending on you — as Yale’s team most definitely is.
3) Patrick Witt is an American hero now — someone who demonstrates a love for sports, teammates, and a good old can-do attitude — and anything he wants in the future, he shall have. Because he is America.
4) Had he chosen to go for the Rhodes, he would have ended up in 60 years an old man, sitting on his porch, a gaggle of grandchildren surrounding him, wondering what could have been…