I was not familiar with you until last night. While I live in Menlo Park and my home is just a few miles from the Stanford campus, I wouldn’t even say that I am a huge Cardinal fan. But after watching the Fiesta Bowl, I felt that I would reach out anyway.
This has got to be a tough time for you. After having two kicks in a row sail wide left, and your team losing in overtime, you can’t be feeling good right now. America feels your pain. As we watched you hang your head on the sidelines, we all felt awful.
While we can't completely know what you are going through, we all empathize. Everyone has had moments in their life where they feel that they fell short or let others down. We all feel your pain. In light of this, here are a few thoughts to put the game into perspective.
First of all, the game was not lost by those missed kicks. The game was lost by David Shaw. With plenty of time left on the game clock and all three timeouts, your coach decided to play conservatively rather than do what your team does best—move the ball down the field at a steady pace and score touchdowns.
There is a reason why Andrew Luck will be the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft. He is the best quarterback in college football. He can pick apart defenses and manage games better than anyone else. The ball should have been in his hands. Period.
The next point should also help put this into perspective. All bowl games outside of the National Championship game, including BCS bowls, don’t mean anything. Congrats Oklahoma State, you won the Fiesta Bowl. You get—nothing.
The BCS system is a complete joke.
Exhibit A: Clemson vs. West Virginia. Neither of these are good football teams, yet they are playing in a BCS bowl while No. 8 Boise State had to settle for Arizona State and the Las Vegas Bowl.
Sure, Clemson and West Virginia come from automatic qualifying conferences, but how do you defend a team like Michigan playing in a BCS bowl? The system isn’t just flawed; it’s broken.
Lastly, and this one is probably the most important—you are only a freshman and you go to Stanford University. Until Luck came to campus, no one at Stanford cared about college football.
With Luck’s departure, few will give a care. Getting into Stanford is no small feat, so you are obviously intelligent. I am sure you will have ample opportunities to be very successful in whatever field you desire.
With all that said, this still must be an incredibly difficult time. I wish you the best as you move forward. Keep your head up and never forget that the best is yet to come.