Kayvon Thibodeaux, almost certainly a top five pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, spoke with Joel Klatt this week and went off on one of the weirdest rants I've heard recently about why he went to Oregon rather than a school like Alabama. His overall point was that he felt Oregon would prepare him better for life outside of football than Alabama could have, which is a perfectly reasonable argument — until he tried to explain it.
“What people don’t realize is that football is an American sport," Thibodeaux said. "So no matter how great Alabama is, you only play football in America, Canada and a couple other places. But a brand like Nike, I mean, for me it was like, 'What brand associations do I want to be tied to?' For me, I already hate the stigmatism of football players being dumb jocks. Do you know the stigmatism of Alabama education? It ain’t the West Coast. It ain’t Harvard.”
Alright, a couple I'd like to address here.
First of all, he meant "stigma." And normally I wouldn't go at somebody over a mistake like that, but when you say it twice in a conversation trying to put down the education in an entire region of the country and put yourself on a pedestal, it's not the best look in the world.
Secondly, you know what else ain't Harvard, pal? The University of Oregon.
Oregon is the No. 42 public university in the country and Alabama is No. 67, according to U.S. News and World Report. Their acceptance and graduation rates are virtually identical. They're both fine public schools. I don't know how great he thinks the University of Oregon is, but go off, I guess.
If Thibodeaux had just stuck to his point about Oregon's ties with Nike and the opportunities that creates whenever he's done with football, he would have made a great point. But instead, he just kept talking and took an unnecessary and baseless shot at a school with an objectively much better football program than his and academics that are almost exactly the same. Do you know how dumb the shit you say has to be for me to defend the University of Alabama?
At the end of the day, though, Thibodeaux is about to be paid very well to play football. It'll be a while before he has to worry about what he wants to do with his degree.