Seawright: New Article for Yahoo Sports & Mike Silver 9/18
September 18th, 2009
Here is another article written by Cal kicker David Seawright. This was posted in Yahoo Sports, in Mike Silver’s section. Enjoy!
As Cal improved to 2-0 with a 59-7 thrashing of Eastern Washington at Memorial Stadium last Saturday – giving the Golden Bears back-to-back 50-something outings for the first time since 1973 – sophomore kicker David Seawright could have looked ahead to this weekend’s game at Minnesota. Instead, I suspect, he was thinking about his next trip to the library – that’s what happens when you attend the nation’s top-ranked public university (and, for what it’s worth, the school with the country’s seventh (USA Today)/eight (AP)-ranked football team. Oh, and the most morally admirable school) in the U.S.) This week’s academically inclined offering from young Mr. Seawright:
Believe it or not, there is a reason why the word “student” precedes “athlete” in our official description. In order to play on Saturdays, we go to class Monday through Friday, even those especially killer 8 a.m. sections.
This semester, I am taking my first ever psychology class (Psych 160: Social Psychology to be precise), allowing me to verbalize the snare sports fans and student athletes alike often find themselves in.
My professor (and yes, this is a shameless plug for Professor Chen – remember this on our midterm coming up!), while discussing the concept of schemas, lectured on Confirmatory Hypothesis-Testing, which is the tendency to seek information selectively that confirms our preexisting beliefs.
This concept struck me as being particularly applicable to student-athletes on two levels. First, the nature of recruiting essentially exemplifies this notion. It is not uncommon for athletes to deny upper-echelon schools in favor of less prominent universities at the mere suggestion that they may be better suited to play an alternate position.
Conversely, many capable athletes will blow off smaller schools because of a certainty that the Pac-10 will come calling. Players like Kevin Hart, although his situation was extreme, are so convinced of this fact that they pay no attention to other potential suitors.
The second glaring example is the uncomfortably common practice of transferring schools. Some athletes transfer multiple times, simply because they disagree with the amount of playing time received. If they aren’t starting, they don’t want to hear it.
A bit like standing in an echo chamber, isn’t it? Ever lambast the wise Mike Silver via email when he slots your team lower than first (which is where they belong, of course) for his “32 Questions?” Ever turn off ESPN when their panel of “experts” picks against your team?
Here is my confession: I used to be you. Sometimes I still am. My advice? Get over it.
Don’t be that guy (or girl, for all the ladies out there). Media members get paid to do two things: report facts, and offer analysis. When they are particularly good, like my esteemed host, the analysis is derived from those facts. If you don’t like it, sound off on message boards or blogs, where baseless opinions are more than welcome.
I, on the other hand, am not being paid for anything, so I’ll end this study break and reenter the realm of my student half. If you need me, I’ll be buried in my psych textbook.