Jeremy Bloom, who was robbed of his final years of college eligibility by the NCAA bureaucracy, was drafted in the 5th round yesterday by the Philadelphia Eagles. Bloom is remarkably philosophical about the whole thing.
Unlike most players who slip down the slope of the second day of the NFL draft, no one enjoyed the ride more than Jeremy Bloom. He’s finally made the NFL as a fifth-round choice of the Philadelphia Eagles.
Bloom missed the past two football seasons at Colorado after the NCAA ruled he couldn’t accept endorsements to ski and still maintain his amateur status. Bloom, a mogul and free-style skier, competed in the Olympic Games in February. To professionally ski at Bloom’s level, endorsements are needed. It was those endorsements that ended his college football career.
He was the 147th player selected in the draft and couldn’t have been happier. NFL Films had cameras at his home when he was chosen. It was a celebration. But at no point did Bloom think about what could have been had the NCAA not interceded in his dream to finish his college football career. During his first two years at Colorado, he was on pace to be an incredible big-play receiver. He averaged 16.2 yards a catch as a sophomore. Overall, he caught 24 passes for an average of 19.1 yards per catch, returned 47 punts at 13.5 yards per return and 25 kickoffs at 25.1 yards per return. He had an amazing five touchdowns of 75 yards or more.
Still, Bloom didn’t reflect with bitterness. Even though he was sure to be Colorado’s No. 1 receiver, Bloom hit the slopes and waited for his chance in the Olympics. “I wouldn’t trade the past two years for being a No. 1 pick,” Bloom said of his success in skiing. “The NCAA showed me the door on college football and caused me to miss my final two years of football. But I can’t take away the experiences I had during the past two years. I’m happy being a fifth-round pick.” His memories included being a three-time world champion on the slopes. He has two World Cups and one world championship. The only thing he didn’t win was Olympic gold. “I have my share of victories and certainly my share of defeats in the sport,” Bloom told the media in a conference call. “But it’s been a blessing to do the things I have done in skiing.”
It’s a remarkable story. As a fan of the division rival Cowboys, I’ll have to root against Bloom at least two games a season. But you have to admire the kid’s reflectiveness. He has every right to be angry about the NCAA’s silly rules but just shrugs them off.
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