Once upon a time a college student rooted for his mid-major college basketball team to make a run in the tournament. The team won their conference and hit the tournament for the third year in a row. The team had played BIG 12 and SEC teams as #1 and #2 seeds in the previous years and drew a Conference USA team at a 3 seed for year three. The Conference USA team had a top five draft pick but the mid-major answered with a defensive style that would grind him up just as they had in the regular season where they had won more games than the 3 seed.
The game played tight and the NBA talent was held to 15 points, shooting 4-11 from the floor, but a sophomore point guard shot 5-9 from three and led the Conference USA team to a victory while the mid-major on the edge of finally winning had shot only 60% from the charity stripe and ultimately lost by only four points.
The student despised the NBA talent going on to the final four and being drafted fifth overall. The student saw the 15 points he was barely able to put down on the mid-major and thought better of a high drafting. Two years later the fifth overall pick was in the NBA finals and the student thought he didn’t stand a chance. ‘If he can score thirty-five a game they will win but if he scores less they will lose every time.’
Of course I’m the student or I wouldn’t care to tell you how right the student was while thinking he’d be wrong. Dwayne Wade of Marquette University scored 42, 36, 43, and 36 points in games three through six as the Miami Heat took the NBA Championship. I could no longer hate this guy as much as I wanted to and he entered a Boston Red Sox fan level of Jeter respect.
In football, although he didn’t put my team out of a college bowl, Trent Richardson I similarly despised Trent Richardson as a commodity. Why would I bid high on a Browns rookie coming into the toughest division in football to run against? The Browns are hardly ever in a position to run and Richardson didn’t seem to have the skill set of a good passing back. At a .1 yards per carry above Ron Dayne for his college career I just didn’t see Richardson being as NFL fast as he has proven. I bet against him in week four only to be wrong (https://craigvillemure.wordpress.com/2012/09/27/week-4-ups-and-outs/). None the less, after five weeks he is third in receptions and second in touchdowns among all running backs.
I’m starting to get the Dwayne Wade feeling about this guy, but I still don’t get how he ran better against the Ravens than he did against the Bills. For now I guess I’ll just stop betting against Trent Richardson while waiting for him to hit holes while carrying someone else to a fantasy football championship through soft matches against Kansas City and Washington in weeks 14 and 15 while I watch with the same distraught demeanor of 2003 as Holy Cross missed their free throws.