Thursday, November 24, 2011


I know it's Thanksgiving Day and most folks are blogging about all the things they're thankful for -- and I'm a thankful-kind of guy as well -- but I want to write about something before too much time passes.

And since Thanksgiving is also about family, parades, and football, this one is about Yale quarterback Pat Witt.

Witt decided to forego an interview for a Rhodes Scholarship to play the final game of the season against arch-rival Harvard. There was a conflict on the day scheduled for his meeting Rhodes representatives and The Game (which is what the Yale-Harvard fans call it).

"I had a commitment to these guys long before I applied for that scholarship," Witt said after the game.

Harvard was heavily-favored to win the game (and it did, 45-7) so Witt's presence probably didn't make that much of a difference. Lots of folks would have understood if he had decided to meet with the Rhodes interviewers rather than face the Crimson defenders.

But Witt decided to finish what he started with his teammates. I think that's commendable and was very unselfish on his part.

Witt, who is 22, can reapply for Rhodes Scholarship since eligibility ends at age 24. I hope his decision to play weighs positively on the Rhodes selection committee if he does decide again to seek one of the coveted scholarships.

"The important part here is not so much the game, but the principle of it," Witt told USA Today. "If I were to go to that interview and skip the game, in a lot of ways I'm not acting like the person they selected to interview."

And Witt, who is 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, has attracted some attention from the National Football League after passing for more than 2,000 yards this season. He spent his freshman year at Nebraska before transferring to Yale.

In this age where you often read and hear about selfish athletes, I think Patrick Witt's commitment to his teammates is admirable.

Until the next time...

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