There is something about failure that deserves to be celebrated. While our initial urge may be to mock those whose plans don’t come to fruition, a miscarriage of intent is hardly justification for the pointing of fingers and laughter that it too often inspires. Failure frequently represents a newly attempted process that doesn’t reach a desired outcome. Any measure of shame that might be felt because of disappointing results should be entirely wiped out by the courage displayed in venturing to accomplish something in a manner that hasn’t previously been tried.
Unfortunately, high school football phenomenon Reuben Foster committing to Alabama after previously committing to Auburn and getting a massive tattoo on the underside of his forearm to celebrate that commitment is nothing like what is being described in that first paragraph. It’s a failure of the most mockable variety.
After originally committing to Alabama, Foster made national news this past summer when he announced that he was switching his commitment to Auburn. The move wasn’t entirely surprising seeing as though the student athlete transferred to Auburn High following the dismissal of his long-time football coach at LaGrange (Ga.) Troup High. However, just in case anyone wished to question the young prospect’s promise, he accompanied his words with an ink filled demonstration of his resolve.
At the time, Cameron Smith of the Yahoo! Sports Prep Rally blog, almost prophetically wondered if the Auburn tattoo wasn’t a bit premature:
It’s impossible not to wonder about the logic behind a player who has already changed his mind in the most dramatic way possible once getting a permanent insignia of his prospective college on his arm before he’s fully qualified to go there or has signed on as a future player. A lot can change in anyone’s life in the span of seven months, let alone the life of one of the nation’s most highly sought teenagers.
Five months later, Foster again announced that he was decommitting. This time it was from Auburn. On it’s own, a high school recruit flip flopping is hardly a shocking development. Players change commitments before signing day all the time, especially when a coaching change has occurred. However, there aren’t a lot of student athletes that have to worry about their arm ink when reaching a decision.
Over the weekend, rumors began to spread that the five-star linebacker was in Tuscaloosa, home to the Crimson Tide, and sure enough, on Monday evening, it was confirmed that Foster would once again be signing on to attend the University of Alabama, Auburn’s fiercest rival. Of course, it should be noted that he has until Wednesday to make up his mind.
You might imagine there to be some concern over how an Auburn tattoo will be received in Alabama’s locker room, but if they can deal with this ink, they can deal with anything: