Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Locker's Lottery Ticket

Jake Locker bought a lottery ticket to lose more than $20,000,000.

My favorite football player Jake Locker is staying at the University of Washington instead of entering the NFL draft.  As a husky fan I love it but as a Locker fan I hate it.  I hate to look a gift horse in the mouth but rationality matters, too.

Locker will keep the huskies somewhat relevant next year.  He will cement his individual Husky legacy and further help rebuild the Husky winning tradition.  He will get to play in a bowl game...The Poinsettia Bowl.  He's worth more than $100,000,000 to the Huskies in increased tickets, TV revenue, jersey sales, etc.  And he may lose more than $20,000,000 for the privilege if he gets hurt or the NFL and players' union agree to limit rookie pay next year.

Some have argued that Locker's strong build insures him against injury.  But Locker has lost that bet 2 out of the last 3 years with serious injuries in 2007 (neck), 2008 (shattered thumb), and even a minor injury this year (a deep thigh bruise slowed him down).

The only way this decision makes any sense is if he becomes a premier NFL quarterback.  While he is one of the most gifted quarterbacks to ever play the game, NFL success for a quarterback cannot be reliably predicted.  But, if he becomes a premier NFL quarterback after staying at the UW for one extra year he will look back at his UW experience with more personal satisfaction.

It's a good thing career decisions don't seem to affect on-the-field decision making because Jake has made some awful career moves thus far.  Locker's decision to stay one more year is painfully consistent with his choice to come to the UDub in the first place.  As a diehard huskies fan it pains me to say it but Jake could have had a much stronger college career at many other Division I schools.  Willingham flushed his freshman and sophomore seasons.  This year was better but still the Huskies were only 5-7.  In 3 years of eligibility Locker has only been able to play about 2 years worth of games and received maybe 1 1/2 years of relevant quarterback experience.  He's compounding his poor school selection by staying another year just so he might be able to go to a bowl game for the first time.

Betting $20,000,000 on personal satisfaction.  Priceless.

P. S. Coach Sark is a genius, btw.  I wonder how much influence Marques Tuiasosopo had on Jake's decision?  Marques's NFL career was a bust.  Sark hired him as a sort of assistant coach and he buddied on the sideline with Jake all year.  I can imagine Marques shared with Jake the importance of his college career and how much more it meant to him than his time in the NFL.

P.P.S. I really hope Jake gets it all: a fantastic finish to his college career with a bowl win and a heisman trophy and then goes on for a hall of fame NFL career.

1 comment:

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