Someone Get This Kid a Uniform
By Dan O'Donnell
Sports Illustrated is calling David Sills one of the greatest quarterback prospects in history...and he's 11 years old. By my math, he should be starting for the Bears by 14.
You know who else was great at 11? Todd Marinovich. His father, a retired NFL lineman named Marv, supposedly raised his boy to be "the perfect quarterback" and subjected him to a strict training regimen from the time he was out of diapers. No fast food, no parties, no youth. Only training, only football.
The next chapter was almost a foregone conclusion; Todd left USC early and flamed out spectacularly in the pros, getting busted numerous times for drug possession, sexual assault, possession of child pornography, resisting arrest and, presumably, for completely destroying the Orange County D.A.'s fantasy team.
Apparently young David Sills' father isn't a student of football history:
"David Sills IV, the quarterback's father, won't say how much he has spends on his son's football education only saying, 'It's fair to say that with the traveling back and forth, it's expensive.' [Renowned quarterback coach Steve] Clarkson generally tutors about a half dozen clients at a time, charging around $3,000 plus expenses to be flown in for one evaluation. After agreeing to coach the prospective student, he charges an additional $1,000 per four-hour lesson. Quarterbacks that attend the Air 7 camps pay $1,400 for four days of training.
'I'm not really a money-driven person,' says Sills IV, a commercial developer and contractor. 'It's not like I want to keep it and hoard it. If I can help [my children] achieve their goals, then why not? What else am I going to do with it? This is part of his growing up experience. Hopefully I won't have to pay for college someday.'"
Some perspective, please. David isn't a meal ticket, he's a boy...and one who hasn't even hit puberty yet! Instead of $1,000 lessons, intense evaluations, and quarterback camps, how about a game of catch with Dad in the backyard, going to the high school game with friends on Friday night, and learning the game by having fun?
David may well be the next Joe Montana, but I for one am just hoping that he won't be the next Todd Marinovich.