Can he walk on water too?
Maybe it’d be better to ask what he can’t do.
The stories about Bryce Harper reached mythic proportions two years ago. Now I don’t know where they’ve gone. That said, I know poorly constructed, unrealistic modern day fiction when I see it and in this piece in today’s NY Times by Tyler Kepner, the Harper legend takes the next step into ludicrousness.
It’s not the piece in and of itself that’s the problem. Basically it’s about Harper being impressive in his first few big league games and the reception he got in Los Angeles and in Washington. A standard column about a hot prospect should be expected. But one line caught my attention and raised my radar to a heightened sense of alert that the undoing of Harper isn’t going to come on the field, but in the media and with public demands of what he’s supposed to be.
Here’s the clip:
Harper was so talented as a high school sophomore that he took his G.E.D., passing it without studying, and enrolled at a junior college.
Without studying, huh?
Unbelievable in fact.
Not unbelievable in that I believe it and am stunned; unbelievable in that I don’t believe it.
He didn’t study? Why even bother taking the test then? Was he that brilliant that he could walk in and take a test—that by the accounts I’ve heard is not easy—and pass it? You can look at some sample questions from the GED yourself here and determine whether you believe a 15-year-old could do such a thing.
Let’s suspend disbelief for a second and accept that perhaps Harper has a photographic memory. Former NFL quarterback and Super Bowl winner Jeff Hostetler has a photographic memory and all he needed to do for a test was read the textbook once. He would then mentally thumb through the pages until he found the correct answer. We can debate whether this is actual genius or a gift, but Hostetler still had to read the book.
Harper didn’t have to study? Didn’t crack open one book and read a single page to prepare for a difficult test and passed?
Not only is he a freakishly gifted talent on the baseball field, but he’s a genius too?
This “not studying and passing” stuff is such nonsense that Kepner should be embarrassed for writing it.
If it’s true (it’s not), it shows more arrogance than intelligence; and if it’s not true (and it’s not), then the ridiculous recounting of Harper’s superiority are setting the foundation of a major disaster.
And I didn’t have to do any studying to come to that conclusion. It’s self-evident.