T-shirt trolling and sanctimony tends to reflect poorly over a long enough timeline.
College football is a multibillion dollar business. People like to pretend it's about college, amateurs, education, and 18th-century "pageantry", but really there is a bottom line, just like everything in America. The "uniquely American" aspect of college sports -- millionaires and billion dollar institutions leveraging an exploited labor pool for obscene profits -- is only uniquely American in the sense it's been going on since our country's inception.
Yes, there are people who like to pretend college football is a white unicorn prancing through a field of lilacs and sunflowers... but these people are probably the same people who think sports teams win because "they wanted it more." That is to say, these people are naive idiots with a rather simplistic world view.
These people also make up large swaths of the collegiate football fan-base in this country. I hate these people, and the brouhaha surrounding Silas Redd is just the latest saga in my ongoing feud with people who refuse to see anything beyond the six inches in front of their pug-like noses.
When Joe Schad reported that Redd had stayed in Southern California over the weekend, any sane human being knew he was never donning the Blue and White again.
I mean, where would you rather ply your trade: at a prominent company in sun-soaked Los Angeles, or a company sanctioned to hell in dreary State College, Pennsylvania? Especially when you had nothing to do with bringing those sanctions upon the company in State College in the first place?
This didn't stop Penn State fans from unleashing the "#StaySilas" hashtag into the Twitsphere. At worst, it's a plantation attitude. At best, it's treating a twenty-year old kid like he's the family labradoodle.
Since it's literally impossible for those who stay to be champions, Penn State fans like to say "those who stay will be legends." Pardon me if I'm missing something here, but how exactly does it serve Silas Redd's career to be considered "a legend" amongst dinner tables in Eastern Pennsylvania?
A wise man once asked me, "Do you know your A-B-C's?" I nodded. "Well," he said, "'I' always comes before 'U' in the alphabet, unless you run it ass-backwards."
What Silas Redd did was obviously in the best interest for Silas Redd. And, at this point in his career, why should he be for anybody else? It's not like he's under contract with Penn State, and it's not like all these people who tweeted "#StaySilas" would help him and his family out if he were to tear his ACL during Penn State's oncoming five win campaign.
If leaving one (amateur) sports team for another (amateur) sports team is all it takes for somebody to become a Judas in this world, then really how much "loyalty" are we showing to the actual human being behind the jersey?
I don't think the average college football fan understands how fleeting these athletes' shots at the NFL are. Many assume Silas Redd -- as long both of his ACL's don't explode -- will one day waltz into the NFL and collect his million dollar paydays. That's because it's easier to say and type than it actually do it.
If that's Silas' ultimate goal, then those who are truly "loyal" to him will support him in whatever choice he decides to make for the furtherance of his career. The tragedy at Penn State didn't leave Silas' hands coated in blood, so it's not as if he owes the university anything.
With all the white noise and idiot bleating removed from the situation, I'm sure it was a rather easy decision for Silas Redd to leave Penn State. He knew, in the end, those that mattered to him would support him. That those truly loyal -- not just idiots slinging the word around on the internet -- would be there in the end.