I'm glad we've committed to writing about national signing day, when top high school football prospects around the country commit to their school of choice.
Lots of readers apparently care about it.
The problem is that the recruiting frenzy doesn't end with seniors. I wince when I read stories about the school to which a freshman or sophomore is leaning. With prep players filling travel-team rosters and playing games on national TV, I realize I'm woefully out of touch.
But I like the idea of sitting back and letting a kid who is not yet a senior quietly decide where he wants to go to school. We're talking about athletes who might be as young as 15. Maybe some of them crave the attention. Maybe they aren't ready for it.
The intense interest feels misguided.
In the mid-1990s, a great high school basketball player came out of Mainland High in Daytona Beach, Fla. Even then his recruitment was a major story.
Some adults couldn't wait to find out where Vince Carter planned to attend college. They were ever so excited. One called the Daytona Beach News-Journal several times a week to ask if there was any news about Vince. The calller identified himself as me.
It worked for awhile. Then somebody that knew me answered the phone. The guy that knew me also knew that I would become a mime before I would call a newspaper to ask about a recruit.
At no point has my life ever been that dull.
I could envision the caller sittiing on the street and holding a sign: WILL LIE FOR INFORMATION ABOUT A SPECIAL TEENAGER.
The guy who knew me asked the recruiting junkie for his number, and said he'd call him. The recruiting junkie hung up, and stopped calling.
Maybe the caller got a hobby.
More likely he called the Charlotte Observer to ask if there was any news about Antawn Jamison.