Saturday, November 22, 2008

Rhodes Warrior

The kid to your left is an all-American safety for Florida State's football team. Highly recruited out of high school, Myron Rolle has lived up to his promise at FSU and will almost surely be a high draft pick in next spring's NFL Draft.

But after today, the big question won't be who drafts him, but whether he decides to play in the NFL or take a year off and ... go to England.

The thing is Myron Rolle isn't just a gifted athlete, he's smarter than most people. Way smarter. Today he became the first major college football player of his generation to win a Rhodes Scholarship.

Rolle will have to make a decision whether to go into the NFL if he's drafted -- and all indications are he will be -- or go to Oxford to study (his subject of choice is a one-year master's degree in medical anthropology). The riches of the NFL vs. a prestigious graduate degree may seem like an easy decision for the few athletes who get a shot at pro football glory, but Rolle has bigger plans for his life than stopping opposing receivers. He wants to become a doctor and open a clinic to help the poor in the Bahamas, where his recent ancestors are from.

Frankly, I don't see how he can pass up the chance to study at Oxford. He can always start his NFL career a year from now. As rare as it is for a young kid to make it to the NFL, it's rarer still to earn a Rhodes Scholarship. He was only two of 13 candidates chosen out of his group -- the other was a former member of the Duke womens tennis team.

What a time to be a big brain.

What with Barack Obama's capacity to speak in complete sentences, unlike George Bush and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, and now a football player winning a Rhodes Scholarship, smart is the new cool.

Whatever Myron decides, I wish him well. After all, the world really is his oyster. He could someday even be President of the United States, just like former Rhodes Scholar Bill Clinton. Cause we all know now that's possible. Kinda makes the world much cooler, don't it?

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