No Bushnell for Us
Johnathan Reese, during his days with the Jets
The list of the finalists for the 2010 Bushnell Cup were announced this morning.
They are Dartmouth’s Nick Schwieger, Penn’s Billy Ragone, Harvard’s Gino Gordon, and Princeton’s Trey Peacock.
Each one of these players was outstanding, but it is very disappointing that no Columbia players, especially Sean Brackett and Alex Gross, made the list.
To be fair, I have called for the entire Penn starting offensive line to win the award. I have also, more realistically, said that Schwieger makes the most logical choice winner for this season.
But Brackett is the most exciting and valuable player in the Ivies right now, and what player made more of an impact on his defense than Alex Gross in 2010?
I suppose we could shout about unfair anti-Columbia biases and in this case, I think we’d have a good case.
How someone like Peacock, a great wide receiver but a great wide receiver on an 0-7 Ivy team, could become a finalist over Brackett and Gross is just silly.
But other than the case of Peacock, the real reason Columbia’s best players didn’t make this list of finalists is because of wins and losses.
It always comes down to wins and Columbia just hasn’t won enough games to get respect.
And don’t fool yourself into thinking that winning four games per season, while a lot better than one or two, is going to earn Columbia any real respect from the league.
Columbia just didn’t have enough wins this season to impress the voters for the Bushnell Cup.
The Lions didn’t have enough wins from 2006-2009 to get all-time great players like Austin Knowlin a Bushnell Cup even though he was every bit as good a player as Brown’s excellent WR Buddy Farnham, a co-Bushnell winner in 2009.
Why? Knowlin won just 12 games in his Columbia career.
The Lions never had enough wins to get great RB Johnathan Reese a cup from 1998-2001, despite his superhuman importance to Columbia in those four seasons.
Reese won just 13 games in his Columbia career.
It’s the personal stories that make the Bushnell Cup snubs hurt the most. The kids who play 1st Team All Ivy quality ball at Columbia year after year are seeing too much of their efforts on the field wasted.
Who, or what, will be held accountable for this?
We can’t just lay it all at the feet of the opposing coaches.
I’m not looking for a scapegoat, but I do very much fear an atmosphere where too many of us are content with four win seasons or see them as a great achievement.
To do so would be a grave injustice to the hard work of our student athletes who deserve better.
They deserve trophies; championship trophies and MVP trophies.
It’s not too late for people like Sean Brackett who has two more years to play.
But for Alex Gross, Austin Knowlin, Johnathan Reese, and so many others, it is already too late.