As a society, we often laud the benefits of an education. We often commend individuals aspiring to be the first college graduate from a family who's never experienced that.
When athletes decline overtures to make quick money and play professionally, traditionally, they're applauded for gambling their health and sacrificing ... And then there's the NFL media.
Cardale Jones had the entire college and professional football world guessing when he held a press conference at his high school (an academy mostly geared towards getting "at risk" youth in better positions to be successful academically) and despite multiple media reports and speculation to the contrary, decided to return to Ohio State for at least another season. NFL media types took this as an affront to the professional league they hold near and dear.
First, there was Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio:
RESPECT THE SHIELD: pic.twitter.com/UPblhxqaGe— Luke Zimmermann (@lukezim) January 15, 2015
Then there was former NFL GM Mark Dominik:
Dominik didn't stop there!
Former NFL GM on ESPN "Be a pro, act like a pro and just say 'Hey I'm coming back' in a tweet" Sure, bud.— Brendan Porath (@BrendanPorath) January 15, 2015
More from NFL Live:
MARK DOMINIK: "This morning, I was hoping that this is what he would say before he actually put the Tweet out because I really think the smart thing for him was the education part. As a former General Manager, you watch it, you say, ‘Okay, I liked what he said. I liked the way he said it.' He seemed humble and everything like that.
I don't think it was necessary to do this - at all. And in a way, it's kind of self-serving that he wore his own shirt on his own jersey - the "12 Gauge." All that stuff was unnecessary to me. If you're just going to jump back, be a pro, act like a pro and say ‘Hey, look, I'm coming back' in a Tweet..."
TREY WINGO (interrupting): "Or act like an amateur because he's not a pro!"
In fairness, former athletes Jerome Bettis, Tedi Bruschi, and Mark Schlereth were all largely positive and supportive in the same segment.
Look, we all get that you were taken aback and felt like you had your time wasted in a way. But chiding an athlete who once infamously tweeted "we ain't come to play school"'s decision to return and get his degree is about as bottom-of-the-barrel as a media horde not exactly known for their tact can get.
It's completely okay to second guess the defending national champion quarterback who's guaranteed nothing in Columbus' decision to forego a possible quick buck. It's something else altogether to feign like your sensibilities have somehow been insulted by it.