Monday, January 3, 2011

On An Anniversary Worth Noting

Yesterday marked 24 years since the most overtly theatrical and baldly dramatic game in college football history.* Unfortunately, Penn State marked this anniversary by enduring (potentially) one of the program's most ignominious weekends in recent memory.

I prefer to remember the good times.

Two decades later, and the real world has been kind to the quarterback, even if no one can remember his name. He lives in what can only be described as a sprawling manifestation of the American dream, an enormous stucco house on a tree-lined cul-de-sac in a tony New Jersey suburb. He has a wife, and he has four children, and he has a den with a wet bar and a pool table, and until recently, when corporate restructuring rendered him a temporary stay-at-home father, he had spent 18 years as a star at Merrill Lynch. 

John Shaffer. The name, like the way he played quarterback, is bland and forgettable, which is why few people outside of the state of Pennsylvania even recall it anymore. When he graduated from Penn State as an academic All-American in the spring of 1987, he had a national championship ring and a reputation as a solid citizen who had no legitimate shot of making it in the National Football League. He went to training camp with the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent. By the end of August, he did something that many football players could never muster the courage to do: He asked to be cut. He had a degree in finance, with an internship waiting on Wall Street. He had another life to start.

Read the rest of the story here. Read lots more here.

*This is a matter of opinion. But in this case, given the research, my opinion is unquestionably correct.

1 comment:

Eric P said...

I was at a Ratt/Poison concert that night, but fortunately had a VHS copy for years, now replaced by a DVD. Yes, that and Something for Joey were watched after the latest Outback Bowl. Remember the good times indeed!