Every year, across all colleges, both powerhouses and the middist of the midmajors, athletes that love to play football perform amazing feats of strength, dexterity, and endurance that captivate fans all across America. Names like Reggie Bush, Vince Young, Antonio Pittman, and Paul Posluszny provide hours of highlight reel footage.But, as the sands of time fall through the cracks of the gridiron, these superstars depart to the ranks of the NFL, making way for the next generation of college talent. That’s the way it should be.
Which is why I’m outraged at T. Boone Pickens recent funding to Oklahoma State’s biomedical school. His interest in cloning the entire NCAA Hall of Fame, raising them in his athletic village north of the Stillwater campus, and having them all be recruited by the Cowboys is an affront to both God and gridiron. His idea, which would include miracles of both science and Keith Jackson in the orange and black, would permanently disgrace college football.
The first question is how the rule books would be rewritten. If Tim Rattay, second all-time in yards, is cloned and throws for 4000 yards to clones of Scott Pingle and Dallas Mall, does that make him the all-time leading scorer? He has a huge advantage over all other non-clones, even if clone Rattay decides to go pro early so the 49’ers can bench him.
Also, we bring into the question nature versus nurture. Was Gary ‘Big Hands’ Johnson literally born to play college football? Or did his upbringing force him into it, a la Eli Manning?
This is why I’m proposing the following amendment: No sequence of DNA may play college football for more than four years. It’s not good enough that people can only play four years: we must limit it to their very genetic makeup. Part of what makes college football so special is the flash-in-the-pan impact that these athletic superstars can have. Cheered by some, vilified by others, the emotions that they create allow fans to form attachments to their achievements.
Which brings me to my final points. Whether T. Boone Pickens likes it or not, if he actually goes through with the idea he got from Space Jam and creates his army of legendary football players, Oklahoma State will be swamped with bandwagon fans. People that loved Tracy Rocker, Jeff Bentrim, Jack Ham, and Kevin Butler (well, maybe not Butler) will pop up out of nowhere. Sure, it may seem awesome that Oklahoma State will be getting respect, but they’ll be getting the same respect that the Yankees or Patriots currently get. Loved by ESPN; hated by everyone that gets sick of the talk about reigning dynasties and thinks cloning is the result of genius gone mad.
T. Boone Pickens needs to walk away from this commitment. While I applaud his efforts at supporting the biomedical field, it’s clear that his heart is in the wrong place.
Besides, Mark May would play tackle. Who wants that?