Caleb Campbell: A Feel Good Story?

John FalcettaSenior Analyst IApril 29, 2008

By now most football fans have heard the story of Caleb Campbell the Army football player who is getting a chance to play in the NFL after getting drafted in the 7th round by the Detroit Lions. Campbell is taking advantage of a new program that allows athletes at Westpoint to serve as recruiters during the offseason from their sport instead of serving as full time officers. Now there has been alot of debate about this being right or wrong.

I have to admit at first I was skeptical of this deal from the Army to get athletes to come to Westpoint just to win games and not fulfill their commitment to the Army.

After doing some thinking about it I came to the conclusion that this is a very good deal for the Army and Campbell as well.  Some have said that the Army is not getting a return on their investment.Yes the Army invested 4 years of training and education into Caleb Campbell so he could become an Army leader, but the positive publicity this has generated more than makes up for that

In a time when most media reports and films are not very positive for the Military any good press the Military can get is a good thing.

Campbell's deal also states that if he gets cut from the team during the first 2 years he must return to full active duty. That is not a sure thing for a 7th rounder, so he has a good chance of seeing combat anyway.

I have seen alot of opinions on this issue most have been positive.I recently talked to some fellow Veterans ant my VFW post and none had a problem with this deal.My question is why does Jay Mariotti? Everyone is entitled to an opinion but if Rod Marinelli who served in Vietnam is willing to draft this young man and has zero problem with this it is hard to argue against it.Even Roger Staubach who gave up 5 years of his NFL career and served in Vietnam has said this is a good program and he would have had to consider it if it was available when he played.

One point lost in all of this is that Caleb Campbell is a very talented football player. I follow Service Academy football very close. I watch every one of them it is a source of pride for me I root for Navy and Air Force except when they play the Blacknights.I can tell you that Campbell is the real deal and had he gone to Notre Dame or Oklahoma he would have been a day one draft pick.

So even though I am a Chicago Bears fan I will root for Caleb Campbell and Rod Marinelli  aslong as they are not playing DaBears. They both deserve our respect.