Many people across American viewed last nights National Championship Football contest between the Oregon Ducks and the Ohio State Buckeyes. Many people saw the scarlet and silver take down the green and yellow. When it was all said and done, Urban Meyer and Cardale Jones were the ones on the podium holding the golden trophy, while "the other quarterback" and "the other coach" walked off the field back into the locker room with their heads down.
This is the problem in today's society. The media and news reporters can turn someones opinion in a blink of an eye. If you listened to all the media leading up to the historic first NCAA playoff national championship, you heard all the hype about the heisman trophy winner for oregon, or the story-lines for Ohio State. Now, I'm an Oregon Fan, have been for a long time so watching my team loose their second national championship was very hard. But I will be the first one to say Ohio State deserves Credit where credit is due. Urban Meyer is a great coach and his team executed their game plan to perfection. His star running back played as expected and was the star of the game. And Cardale Jones did what he was asked, making plays he is capable of putting his team into the best position possible. But coming from a spectator and a fan of all college football, the most troubling factor to me was the different remarks being said about the loosing team.
All week long we heard about Urban Meyer and everything he has done with his football team and how they have over come their hardships to get where they are. Did we forget Urban has already been to the is game twice? He already has two national championships,now three under his belt. Do we forget that Oregon's Head Coach, Mark Helfrich is only in his second year as being head coach. The first time being in charge of any football program. Or the fact that his team put up a 13-2 record this year despite suffering season ending injuries to multiple star players from last years team just like Ohio State did. Now, this can't be used as an excuse in any means but it is something that the media just doesn't feel like mentioning.
Now, the discussion of the quarterbacks was probably the most troubling of the night. If you listened to the commentators for all of five minutes, you would think the Jones was the savior and wow what a tremendous job he did and how advanced he was! What they forget to mention is yes, even though he is listed as the third string quarterback, he was still given a scholarship by Ohio State, so already there has to be some talent. He is a redshirt sophomore so this is now his third year in Ohio State's system, along side Urban Meyer. Being with the same coach in the same system for three years, I would hope, coming from myself as a previous quarterback, he understand most of the offense. Don't get me wrong Jones, did a great job making plays with his legs and making decisions on the field that helped aid his team to a victory. But I have seen Ohio State play all season and most of the credit of the quarterback play should be credited to Meyer. The way Meyer simplified his offense was outstanding. It wasn't like Jones was making 3 to four reads a play. Most of the time he was either throwing a deep ball or handing the ball of to Elliot. When he did have to read the defense it was simple read combinations. Not rocket science. Yes, jones made plays, but Elliot is the reason they won the game. This leads into probably the most controversial comment made on Monday Night.
The comment was along the lines of "Cardale silenced Mariota tonight, making him "the other quarterback"." The discussion on ESPN then went on to consider, how should Marcus Mariota the 2014 Heisman Trophy winner be remembered. By his numerous records or the fact he never won a national title. How about he be remembered for the person he was off the field. Marcus Mariota not only shattered Pac-12 and NCAA records over his career but also did it humbly. Mariota's teammates played for him and Mariota plays for his teammates. He tearfully gave his heisman trophy speech this year giving more credit to the people surrounding him than his own self. In an era where it seems that every other breaking news story is about how this sports star is getting into trouble or another incident occurred, we have the nerve to criticize a player for being a good person but not winning it all? Not being tough enough, or being mean enough?
Marcus Mariota represents what a student athlete should be about. He displayed character, honor, integrity and humbleness. He might have been the poster child for the University of Oregon but none of it was by choice. If you ask his teammates he is just one of the guys. Martiota didn't have a bad game Monday night, his team played bad. He threw for 355 yards and two touchdowns which is very good statistically for a quarterback. But football is a team game, not an individual game. One man cannot win the game by his self. ESPN and the media did a disservice to Mariota by the degrading and snide comments about Mariota and the Oregon ducks. The Oregon Ducks played through adversity, played through injury and did it the right way. When a player was in trouble it was dealt with and taken care of. Ohio State deserves all the credit they earned this year. They were the best team on the field Monday night and earned that trophy hands down. Nothing should be taken away from them.
But the Media should take a look at how they view people. Life isn't about winning a game. A legacy shouldn't be made entirely based on how many championships you have won. It should be about the person you are and the differences you made on the people around you. Marcus Mariota did all of this and more. Marcus Mariota isn't the "the other quarterback". The University of Oregon's, Heisman Trophy Winner, Unanimous First team all American, and leader of their football team, Marcus Mariota, is the guy and the positive role model, college sports have been looking for.