Everyone is giving their personal take on the McCaffrey decisions so it’s time I give my two sense. I’ll start by saying I love it. The reason I love it is the situations at hand. What we have is a Stanford team that had a down year and as a result they got invited to a low status bowl game (wohoo! The Sun Bowl!) that will not increase or decrease his draft stock. He made a career decision that is a smart decision. Let’s compare McCaffrey’s decision to one a NARP (non-athletic regular person) would make for his career.
It’s your last year and you’re getting ready to graduate and you have been working as an intern at a place that boosts your résumé and prepares you for your future but that position does not end until a couple months after you graduate. Maybe you’re getting paid maybe you’re not, it does not really matter. While you’re interning you’ve been applying for jobs to start your career and being making some cold hard cash. One day while you’re still interning, you get a phone call from the PGA Tour to interview for a job. Your dream job. One you’ve put in the hours for. The problem is, the PGA wants you to start within the next two weeks. What do you do? Do you tell them, “man I’d really love to come work for you at the PGA but I’ve got this internship I’m at now which doesn’t end for a couple of months and I love being broke” or do you go and take the job and start your career and begin to bring in the paper?
We both know the answer, you’re going to tell your boys at the internship that your next step has come and you’ve got to go now or you will miss you’re opportunity. You don’t risk passing up on something like that given the position you’re in.
The scenario above is the same scenario McCaffrey is currently in. The NFL is calling and it’s his last year. In his head it’s do I go do what I have always dreamed of or do I risk missing out by going to play some backyard football with my boys that could really hurt my future given an injury?
Now, I know what you’re saying. “But they’re his boys! We live and die with the boys!” Well I got news for you, NFL plays on Sundays and Sundays aren’t for the boys. They’re for the men. Plus, if they’re his boys they will understand and get over it and be proud of his future success and the role they played in it. The same way a past boss or co-worker would be proud of a NARP for their career advancements.
Having said that, if Stanford was in a New Year’s 6 bowl (especially the playoff) McCaffrey would be suited up on the sideline ready to lay it all out on the gridiron because those games mean something. If he carried the Cardinal to a championship his stock would go up and his legacy at Stanford would be solidified as the GOAT. That is an opportunity none of us would pass up on.