Adversity: "A state, condition, or instance of serious or continued difficulty or adverse fortune."
Now, that's not an easy word for any kid to understand. After all, that's exactly what Zach Mettenberger is, right? A 20-year-old kid getting his first taste of what it is like being a starting quarterback for one of the top college football teams in the nation.
He has probably already heard the "A" word plenty of times this spring, and he has yet to take a single snap as LSU's lead signal-caller.
But to truly understand the frequency with which "adversity" has been tagged to Mettenberger's name, go back to the newspaper article, printed by the Huffington Post on March 8, 2010, in which the headline read "Mettenberger Arrested, Charged with Underage Drinking."
In that article, the Post describes how Mettenberger, who at the time was enrolled at the University of Georgia, was charged with underage consumption and possession of alcohol, possessing fake identification and disorderly conduct-obstruction.
Just over one month later, this article appeared on ESPN.com's front page, titled in bold print "Georgia Kicks Mettenberger off Team."
The 18-year-old, highly-touted quarterback's career was over at Georgia before it had really even begun.
Every Georgia fan in the country had to read that very headline and think to themselves, "how does a kid bounce back from something like this?"
Talk about adversity, right?
Just over two years later, after that headline painted the front page of the most popular sports website known to man, Mettenberger is back at it, and this time, with a new demeanor and purpose.
Any young, college student expected to start at quarterback for one of the top college football programs in the nation would be facing a ton of adversity, right?
The media will be in his face from the second he takes his first snap as LSU's starting quarterback, to the second he takes his last snap. The coaches will be in his face if he makes the slightest mistake out on the football field. The LSU fans will be sure to be upset when he throws his first interception, or fumbles the football at an inopportune time.
These are all examples of adversity that Mettenberger will likely face in his first season as LSU's starting quarterback.
But Zach Mettenberger already knows a thing or two about facing adversity. He already knows what it's like to reach rock bottom and miraculously climb your way back up. You can tell by simply listening to the kid talk, that he gets it. He has a true understanding of the fact that he was given a second chance, and this isn't a game where you're still at bat after your second strike.
Some would say that Zach Mettenberger has a real shot at beating all the adversity he will face as a college football starting quarterback.
Others would argue that he already has.
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