Week 10: The Silver Pigskin isn’t cursed!

Last week Dillon Baxter and USC parted company, sparking a round of internet trash talking. Several jabs were directed at the PPR Silver Pigskin Trophy, suggesting that winning the award is akin to the Sports Illustrated Cover Jinx, or being the face of Madden. I couldn't disagree more.

So far we have thirteen names on our trophy. Each and every kid has been a pleasure to be around. They were respectful and happy to promote the PPR. Reggie Bush dressed as Santa Claus and sat at Fashion Valley one afternoon. Patrick Gates had Father Joe hear his confession. Jose Perez signed autographs at a Gulls game. Jake Fadden opened his home to the public so folks could pose for pictures with the Silver Pigskin. Dillon Baxter was part of the Old Town trolley tour. The list of skits and PPR promotions is endless. The kids have been great to the PPR and we'll always be supportive of them.

Let's review some of the names on the trophy. Our first winner in 1999, Patrick Konen, is a teacher and coach at a high school in Georgia. Ryan Gonzales (2000) has built a successful career in financial planning. Jose Perez (2002) is easily the best all-around athlete on the trophy – having played minor league baseball with the Yankees and was one of the last cuts for the Dolphins – and is now a proud father and husband. Jake Fadden (2004) is working on the PPR and has a promising future in TV sportscasting.

We also have a strong contingent of winners tearing up in the college ranks. Abraham Muheize (2005) is playing at Central Washington. Do I even need to tell you about 2006 winner Ryan Lindley? Nelson Rosario (2007) is UCLA's leading receiver and a standout track and field performer. Tyler Gaffney (2008) is a two-sport star at Stanford. Both will challenge Jose Perez for the title of best all-around athlete to win the Silver Pigskin.

And let us not forget last year's winner, Stefan McClure. All he's doing is starting for Cal as a true freshman!

And before you criticize 2001 winner Reggie Bush or 2008 winner Dillon Baxter, let me say this: Bush and Baxter have more than the Silver Pigskin in common. I would argue the more telling connection is USC in general and Pete Carroll in particular. Had Carroll run a tighter ship, Reggie might still have his Heisman, and Baxter would have never had to deal with Lane Kiffin.

I'm not an apologist for either Bush or Baxter. Both would tell you mistakes have been made, in some cases extremely expensive mistakes. But, life offers little in the way of mulligans. You mess up, you deal with the consequences, and hopefully you learn something and move on.

Reggie Bush is currently resurrecting his NFL career in Miami. I'm predicting that Dillon Baxter will do the same with his collegiate career. These two proud members of the Silver Pigskin honor roll aren't evidence that the trophy is cursed. In fact, just the opposite is true. It takes a special resilience to have your name etched on the side of high school football's most coveted trophy. Dealing with the sudden success and all the accolades that come with being our Player of the Year will test your character. I'm betting on all our previous champions. Why? Because Silver Pigskin winners always come through.

 

Paul Rudy
Creator of the Prep Pigskin Report

Email me at ppr@kusi.com

 

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