Good: winning your first game of the football season. Not so good: doing so against unheralded Navy. Bad: Only winning by four. Worse: Being the #1 quarterback prospect in the nation two years ago, only to be thoroughly outquarterbacked by Navy’s Ricky Dobbs, whom nobody had even heard of before Saturday.
Ah, but Terrelle Pryor likes to save the worstest for last. The Ohio State quarterback, whom some OSU fans unironically refer to as “LeBron in Cleats,” played yesterday’s contest with decorated eyeblacks. That’s nothing new or out of the ordinary; Reggie Bush saluted his home area code of 619, and Tim Tebow famously cites Bible passages like John 3:16 and Philippians (shortened to “Phil” for brevity’s sake) 4:13 on his.
But shouting out Michael Vick? Um, that’s a new one.
Pryor did himself no favors when asked about the eyeblacks shown above, either. Watch below:
In case you couldn’t make all that out or couldn’t believe your own ears:
Not everybody’s the perfect person in the world. I mean everyone kills people, murders people, steals from you, steals from me, whatever.
We’re pretty sure the worldwide murder rate is lower than “everyone,” but we’re not here to quibble over particulars.
And look, it’s nice that Pryor wants to show some solidarity with Vick, even if he can’t elucidate it very well. But aside from merely learning that it’s not in his best interests to make public statements of support for Vick, he needs to be taught why not to - or at the very least, how to correctly phrase it.
After all, there’s something to be said for forgiveness and second chances, something that an awful lot of moralizers are going to conveniently forget that they’ve received at some point in their lives - while simultaneously growling at Pryor. Pryor didn’t address that very well, though. Further, even while there is a nuanced point to be made in Vick’s defense, even if Pryor states it clearly after the game, eyeblack shoutouts might not be the right vehicle for that kind of tribute, especially in dicey situations like these.
So we’re not going to go the route of some other commentators and ascribe worlds of negative qualities to Pryor’s character over this; the fact is that he probably didn’t think through the public consequences - ultimately fleeting and trivial as they may be - of his decision. But this is a “teachable moment” for coach Jim Tressel and the other influential members of Pryor’s life, and merely rolling up a newspaper and batting Pryor on the nose with it isn’t going to get the right message across.
Why yes, we did just use an “inappropriate punishment involving dogs” metaphor. Why do you ask?