There was a time way back in the day in the late 60s or early 70s when NDSU head coach Ron Erhardt got up in front of a room full of Bison Team Makers and proceeded to tell everybody that, in so many words, “that whoever thinks Ed Kolpack is an a–hole please stand up.” The entire room got up and clapped, with my elementary-age brother sitting next to my dad no less. The reference was to the father of this blogger, who earlier in the week outed Erhardt for trying to disguise an injury to the NDSU quarterback by having the backup wear his number in practice. Dad wasn’t fooled, and then tweeted it. Oh wait, he must have written about it.
That was life coaching in Fargo, where hiding your quarterback getting injured is not easy. It still isn’t. Remember three weeks ago when Illinois State’s Tre Roberson was more of a receiver than a quarterback because he suffered an injury to his hand that thwarted his ability to throw a football? It made a starter of backup Jake Kolbe, much to the surprise of Northern Iowa. In the perfect sleuthy world of college football, the Bison would have traveled to Indiana State on Saturday and the Sycamores would have been blown away at Easton Stick starting, not Carson Wentz. It didn’t happen. NDSU doesn’t let anybody outside of the program watch practice, but word still got out even before practice started. There are just too many smartphones out there.
If a wrist injury were to most other players on the team, probably not many would care. But Wentz is a different animal, one of the top quarterbacks this school has ever seen and everybody knows him. He would really have to go dark to, well, go dark. So word got out, rumors were flying everywhere whether it be he was hurt duck hunting, in a game, in a practice or whatever. Media coverage for a program is mostly a good thing, I don’t think any school would disagree with that. It also can be a downside if you want to be sleuthy about your star quarterback.