Journalism, Ohio University

The Quarterback Theory: How will we stack up?

With the weekend fading and my last week in Northern Michigan on the horizon, I am gearing up to start the next four years of my life away at college.

For the past year or so I have been waiting for the day where I pack up my things, load up the ‘ol Trailblazer and head south to Athens for the fall. Only now, however, do I realize truly how big of a step forward I’ll be taking by putting that car in drive en route to Athens.

For the first time of my life, I am moving out. With the flick of a light switch and a slam of the car door I will leave my home and not come back until at least late November.

As bad of a picture as that paints, I’ve never been more excited.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m going to miss what I have here just as much as the next guy — probably more — but this whole college thing is just simply too appealing to not get a bit riled up for.

Think. My first class is at 11:00 four days of the week. I have a seemingly unlimited supply of food — word is that there are ice cream machines in every cafeteria. My real job? Out the window — I worked my last shift yesterday. There are 5,000 other freshman looking for friends. On that note, social life — check!

Everything seems to be working in my favor. I have what seems to be a great dorm on the beautiful East Green. My roommate seems like a nice guy who I’ll get along with just fine. I secured a job with The Post, OU’s student newspaper. My pack is loaded up with a brand new laptop. My debit card has a couple bucks on it. And the list goes on and on.

Life is good.

There does come a time where reality sets in and there is work to be done. I’ll get to that day. In fact, it’s going to come sooner for me than it will for most other frosh, being that I will have a more-than-full slate of work for my select journalism class. (Shout out to JFreshY3’s!)

Things aren’t going to be easy. Trust me, I know. At the same time, though, my life now isn’t easy. Yes, I am going to have a tough workload and yes, all of my classes will matter, but in the end I know I’m up to the task.

That’s another reason why I’m so excited.

I get to see how smart I am.

I have developed and sharpened this thought for several years. What I’m trying to say is… hear me out.

So, Gaylord, Michigan is a small town, not unlike most small towns that dot the United States. In many of those small towns there is a football team. Within that football team there is usually a quarterback.

I say that because Gaylord ran a hybrid offense that had no quarterback in my junior and senior years. Needless to say, it didn’t work well.

I regress. This quarterback is nearly always considered hot stuff around town. He is, in many cases, the captain of the team. He gets the glory, talks to the media, dates the Homecoming queen, etc.

(Subconsciously I listed ‘dating the Homecoming queen’ right after ‘talking to the media’. I guess that shows where my priorities are. If it were journalistic to throw in a LOL every now and then, now would be the time.)

Again, I regress. This quarterback eventually throws his last high school pass, ends his senior season and has to move on with his life. He decides to take up the offer of one of the recruiters that hawked him throughout the season, enrolling in division-III college to give his dream one more shot.

Then he realizes it.

In the big scheme of things, he is one of thousands of young men that can throw a ball, read a defense and direct a team. He is no longer the cream of the crop, nor will he be the star any longer. Instead, he is turned into a wide receiver and will run routes and catch balls for the guy who really knows what he’s doing.

I hope that makes sense.

Moral of the story, I get to see how I stack up against other motivated young people such as myself in the ‘real world’, as parents like to dub it. I believe I have done all the right things to stay under center and avoid lining up in the slot, so to speak. (Sorry, football fans might be the only ones who get that.)

It’s time to see how independent, motivated, disciplined, smart, and overall good I am. It all starts Friday.

Oh yeah, did I mention that I was a bit excited?



2 thoughts on “The Quarterback Theory: How will we stack up?

  1. “I get to see how smart I am.”

    My thoughts exactly and when It comes to actually finding out, I was blown away entirely. I have never been in the presence of any group of young people more learned, deft, and well rounded then in the class of 2015 at Cornell University. Is it an adjustment? Yes. Is it exactly what I was looking for all my life? Absolutely. I have not doubt your experience will be the same, as in, you will find exactly what you are looking for.


    Posted by Ryan Li | August 28, 2011, 3:26 pm
    • Ryan,

      I always look forward to your comments because you are going through the same things I am, following your dreams and all. For the first time in my life I will be surrounded by like-minded individuals, as you are currently. It’s going to be interesting at the least to meet people with similar ambitions and goals.
      Thanks for the support!

      — Jim

      Posted by James Ryan | August 28, 2011, 4:18 pm

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My name is Jim Ryan, and I'm a breaking news reporter for The Oregonian and OregonLive in Portland. I'm an Ohio University graduate from Gaylord, Michigan.

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