Someone should protect Bryce Harper from himself

Well, future Nationals superstar Bryce Harper definitely has all the tools to be a proper international superstar, at least judging by his favorite sports teams. He was on D.C. radio on Wednesday (and Tuesday, for that matter), and he identified the teams he roots for. It’s out of the official Villain’s Guide For Choosing Loathsome Front-Running Sports Teams.

Dan Steinberg, D.C. Sports Bog.

It turns out Harper, the Nats’ first overall draft pick, grew up rooting for the Cowboys, Lakers, Yankees and Duke. This fresh on the heels of an interview last month in which, when asked to describe himself in one word, Harper first considered “gorgeous,” then settled on “Hercules.”

Probably if the Nationals are willing to invest $9.9 million in Harper over the next five years, they should also shell out some 80 grand a year for a full-time media coach to travel with the kid and work with him to make sure every single sports fan in America doesn’t hate him by the time he reaches the Major Leagues.

Because the Harper backlash is so strong at this point that I actually feel bad for the kid. There’s video out there, somewhere, of me at 17, on CNN, sanctimoniously ripping Bill Clinton for cheating on his wife, suggesting, essentially, that it’s going to lead to widespread moral decay. I’m not particularly ashamed of it — I was 17 — but it’s not at all indicative of the way I think anymore. Plus I’m pretty sure the CNN producer led me a little bit, if I recall correctly. I just wanted to be on TV.

Not only is Harper 17 years old, he’s a 17-year-old who was hitting 550-foot home runs and plastered all over the cover of national sports magazines at 16. That’s gonna do all sorts of things to your teenage head.

So yeah, he comes off like a jackass, but think back to how you were at 17, and consider that you probably said some pretty jackassy things too. Or you certainly would, if you could hit 550-foot home runs. And if you’re 17 now, I hate to say this, but you might very well be a jackass. No offense. (The fact that you’re here suggests you may be wise beyond your years. Please keep reading.)

Also, for what it’s worth, Harper grew up in Las Vegas, so it’s not like there are a lot of natural fits for sports teams for him to root for. You’d think he’d pick the Runnin’ Rebels over f#@$ing Duke, though.

9 thoughts on “Someone should protect Bryce Harper from himself

  1. Clinton thing is indicative of a smart kid swimming in water a little too deep for him at the time. “Hercules” is indicative of a 17 year old who thinks he sh*ts unicorns.

    Maybe there is some context that might say otherwise, but this kid is probably a massive ego (read jerk) at this point and that doesn’t help his odds of fulfilling all that potential.

    TBs point remains though that all of us probably would be in his shoes. 17 and already on cover of SI and headed to an 8 figure payday all without even having to take Trig. Imagine the general adoration he receives regularly. He probably does sh*t unicorns.

    Anyway I can’t help but feel sympathy for the men making the decisions for an organization and having to put so much faith in the decision to draft/pay these kids. Imagine if your job (mortgage, kids tuition, etc) is riding on this kid and you hear this. Maalox moment.

  2. I agree, I cant say I blame the kid for being somewhat cocky. I mean my friends and I played baseball in HS, and while we were good HS ballplayers, in the grand scheme of things were really very good at all, yet we still acted like we were the best players in the state.

    I could only imagine if we were actually some of the best players in the country, having teams lining up to pay us millions.

  3. Pretentious moralizing is no big thing in a 17-year-old. In fact it’s probably pretty much the norm. This kind of insane ego, though — man, this kid is going to be fun to hate for the couple decades.

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