Imagine being Kyler Murray, a phenomenal athlete who has used his God-given gifts to dominate two of America’s biggest sports. It has been interesting 30 days for Kyler Murray. He won the Heisman Trophy, played in the semifinals of the College Football playoffs. The level of success recently has led a dilemma that most young men age face in one way or another face to varying degrees at this stage of their life. In Murray’s case, choosing which sport to pursue on a full-time basis. There is a lot of pros and cons to choosing one sport over the other. Some will say the choice is an easy one. Forgo your baseball aspirations and play in the NFL. After all, football is America’s biggest, and undoubtedly most popular sport. A sport in which he has had a lot of success. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner now has an opportunity to be potentially the first quarterback selected in April’s NFL Draft.
Then there’s the arguments for playing baseball having the chance to be the first African-American star baseballs have had in a long while, the appeal of having a longer, more successful, durable career making more money in the long term or appealing aspects of sticking with America’s pastime. Murray has a real decision right now the opportunity to pursue immediate success right now and play football or the potential to have a long-term success and a healthier life and play baseball.
Whatever decision Murray ultimately makes with the stick with the A’s or to pursue his career in the NFL will be an interesting decision in the end the decision that will have a long lasting affects years to come.
If Murray ultimately decides that, the NFL Gridiron is more appealing that riding buses up and down the cactus league it will be a huge blow for Major League Baseball. The fact is Major League Baseball and Rob Manfred need Kyler Murray a lot more than he needs them. Just think about it, Baseball comes in second to Football again. They lose a young, marketable, African American star in the NFL. That decision could have long lasting ramification on America’s Pastime. The one aspect of this discussion that is undeniable is baseball’s lack of appeal amongst younger fans, specifically African-American kids. For almost 3 decades, the number of African-American representation of the sport has been dwindling to an alarming level. Kyler Murray has been another in seeming ever-growing list of young African American athletes that that that would spurn America’s pastime for the immediacy and instant success of playing in the NBA and or in the NFL.
Who could really blame Kyler Murray? The kid just won a Heisman trophy, played in one of the biggest stages his other passion can provide and if he decided to commit fully to the Oakland A’s, he is stuck playing for the Beloit Snappers in Class A level. That is quite a demotion for superstar of Murray’s stature. Therefore, the decision is between choosing a sport with the shorter career span, no guaranteed contract, and being one hit or injury away from your career being over or a sport with a long apprenticeship and no real guarantee of sustained success at the next level.
It looks like Kyler Murray has made his decision. On Monday, Murray officially He declared for the NFL Draft, giving himself more time to consider what sport he wants to pursue professionally. He is looking to become the first athlete drafted in the first round of both the NFL and MLB drafts. He will chase his dream and try to become a successful Quarterback in the NFL. I hope this is not an overreaction to a successful, albeit brief college football career. I hope that Kyler Murray’s advisors are giving him the right advice and not looking at the dollar signs. As for Major League Baseball, they again come in second to the big bad National Football League, having to self-analyze where they are as a sport in 2019 America going forward.