Last week you, a prospective college football recruit, went through all of the trials and tribulations that a high school student-athlete can endure on a visit to a college campus.
If you were lucky (and many of you were not), you were able to avoid the temptations of bath salts and the concepts of fair play and honesty to work your way into the good graces of your future college coach and school. Good for you! It's incredibly rare to find such a terrific combination of savvy and talent, but you have both in spades and for that I commend you.
Still, you haven't actually committed yet! Sure, you survived a weekend on your own in the Big City, little piglet that you are. But now comes the hard part.
See, here's the thing about college recruiting: it never really ends until you sign on that dotted line. Yes, you gave Pleasure Island A&M your verbal and everyone is happy for you and I'm sure it'll work out just fine, but the truth of the matter is that it's October 2nd and there are still a good four months until you get to submit your letter of intent.
How you navigate those four months will be crucial. Will you survive the perils of social media? Will you unknowingly insult the PIAM fanbase with a flippant comment about turtlenecks (they freaking LOVE turtlenecks at PIAM)? Will someone, possibly yourself, upload incriminating photos of you naked in a pile of baby ducklings?
Only time will tell! Remember, the choices are yours, and yours alone...
Three days after your commitment, your Twitter followers jump tenfold, to ten. One of said followers happens to be a sexy young beauty calling herself "Tabitha." She lustily suggests that you "iNVest IN VIagarA t0d@y!!!!1" and you are intrigued. Being 18, you are well aware of the potential dangers of giving out your personal information to strangers online. But, being 18, you also don't particularly care.
A) Strike up a relationship with Ms. KoreaPharm.net, sending her a sexy photo of your own (laying down, Burt Reynolds style, of course).
B) Worriedly tell your mom that a woman has propositioned you on the internet.
c) Realize that though you truly love Tabitha KoreaPharm, emotionally this is a very difficult time for you, and you are simply not prepared for a long distance relationship that ultimately wouldn't be fair to both yourself and the 43-year-old man running her Twitter account. You reluctantly spurn her advances, but leave the door open for a happy reunion in the future.
If you selected A, award yourself 14 points. If you selected B, award yourself 7 points, and if you selected C, award yourself 25 points.
Nearly a month into your official commitment, and you are still thoroughly enjoying yourself. PIAM fans are still worshipping the ground you walk on, figuratively of course, but that's mostly because they haven't yet pinned down the exact ground that you have been walking on recently. Still, looking through your Instagram account, you begin to notice an unsettling pattern: not only does the same, paunchy, rosy-cheeked middle-aged man appear in all of your photos, but in each progressive picture he seems to be grinning wider and wider and wearing less and less clothing.
On October 7th he is merely leaning against a light pole and looking pensive, but by a picture taken at Applebee's on October 26th, he's spelling out PIAM in mustard on his naked torso mere feet from your dinner table. Do you:
A) Call the authorities, as you are incredibly skeeved out and honestly now having some second thoughts about your choice of college.
B) Shrug, laugh, and say "hahah wow, PIAM has some dedicated fans!" and then offer to take a picture with the guy, safe with the knowledge that he is almost certainly not a pedophile or sexual predator of some kind.
C) Throw silverware at the man and run like hell.
If you chose A, award yourself 3 points. If you chose B, award yourself 39 points. If you chose C, subtract 3 points from your score.
It is getting closer and closer to signing day, but more importantly, it is getting closer and closer to the big game between PIAM and their ancient, bitter rivals over at Bovine University. Irritated by what happened in October, you're feeling a little trolly and decide that you're going to have a little fun with the PIAM alumni. Do you:
A) Wear a BU shirt at all times, in as many public places as possible?
B) Make thinly-veiled references to how much you like cows and how you're really not much of an "agricultural or mechanical" kind of guy.
C) When asked about your recruiting process, purposefully and repeatedly refer to PIAM as a "community college" before correcting yourself and saying "the coaches keep telling me they'll be accredited soon."
D) Do all of the above.
If you picked A, give yourself 5 points. B, 3 points. C, 12 points, and D, 1 point.
BU's coach is making a hard late charge to bring you on board, mostly out of spite because PIAM's head coach snubbed him at media days back in August. PIAM's coach tells you that if you take an official visit to BU, your offer will be pulled and rumors will start to circulate about a possible Mr. Belvedere fetish. BU's coach is promising boobies and honey, and you do love your boobies and honey. On the other hand, you also like a guaranteed free ride to the college of your choice. Do you:
A) Throw caution to the wind and take the visit. It's time the world know about your love of 80s sitcoms anyway.
B) Take 15 more visits to schools not named Bovine University, but carry a gallon of milk with you at all times.
C) Wuss out and kowtow to the demands of a power-tripping college football coach, knowing that your college football playing career will be kowtowing to the demands of a power-tripping college football coach no matter what you do.
A works out to an additional 10 points, B another 12, and C subtracts 2 from your score but you feel like a huge douche about it and punch a pillow in frustration later.
Calamity strikes! Tabitha KoreaPharm is not who she claimed to be and you now realize that you've been Catfished. How do you play off this incredibly embarrassing event?
A) Collaborate in a scheme with your future athletic director to claim that it was in fact a university run experiment to teach student-athletes about the dangers of online dating.
B) Cry. Cry real hard.
C) Get over it quickly. After all, there are many, many eligible women out there on the 'net, many of whom have been sending you highly inappropriate pictures via your favorite social media website. Kim H00-Metameucil, SaraH Anders)onetflixx, THUGGISHRUGGISHBABIII028...
If you picked A, that's another 8 points. B, well... that's like 50. C, only another 10. You optimist, you!
Finally! You've made it to signing day! You managed to not die, and somehow got through the web of lies that makes up the net of fans, coaches, and assorted hangers-on that sought to ensnare you during the recruiting process. Now that you are almost an official commit, it will surely be nothing but easy sailing from here on out, as the spotlight is shifted from the recruits to the incoming freshmen of 2013. What a bunch of suckers!
Anyway, there's only one more choice left to make, and that's to determine what type of adorable animal you will use to aid you in an overwrought hat selection ceremony.
A) Puppy. 1 point.
B) A somewhat mangy-looking parrot. 7 points.
C) 10,000 live spiders. 15 points.
Whew! A weird two weeks to be sure, but it's time to compile the numbers and see just where you will end up in your prodigious college career. Whip out the slide rule, and let's see where you end up!
0-15 POINTS: Congratulations! You're a well-adjusted individual with good reasoning skills and a bright future. Not in college football though, you're not nearly crazy enough for that. Stick to bowling or golf or quiz bowl or whatever, nerd.
15-50 POINTS: Congratulations! You are a certifiable nut job and are deemed just the right kind of goofy to take on the particularly ridiculous world of college athletics. You will soon lose all motor function in your left shoulder and most of your childhood memories will be concussed out of you, but you will get laid a lot.
50 POINTS OR MORE: PHONE'S RINGING. IT'S LES MILES ON THE LINE.