Do these pictures look a little too familiar?
Remember the last quarterback with alcohol problems who played on the grass of Williams-Brice Stadium?
Filmed on the very grass on which Stephen Garcia has both elated and crushed the will to live of many a South Carolina fan, the 1993 I-will-always-watch-when-it's-on classic, The Program, was an inside look at major college football. Steroid use, coaches bending the rules to keep players eligible, $100 handshakes (copyright: Auburn University), free grades for star players, team chemistry issues, devastating injuries. It was all there in its glorious, stereotypical form.
While Stephen Garcia was never billed as a favorite for the Heisman like Joe Kane, he was also not a 35-year old man playing against college kids like Joe Kane was (F-minus to the casting director). However, both were ultimately undone by alcohol, based on the latest report that Garcia showed up drunk to a team function on making better decisions (DELICIOUS IRONY, but it does mean the Garcia Bracket of Scholarship Loss was wrong).
Though Kane's story was one of redemption, as he went to rehab and eventually came back to lead the ECU Wolves to a victory that got them into a bowl game, I doubt we'll see Garcia get another chance at South Carolina. He's now on the board with multiple offenses, all of which are alcohol related, and this latest stupid decision comes while he was already in timeout for the infamous hotel room incident the week of the Chick-fil-a Bowl (mmmmm...Chick-fil-a). Surely the South Carolina administration has had enough by now and will finally do what Steve Spurrier has been unable to do, which is remove him from the team by way of removing him from school (though Spurrier could have only kicked him off the team and not out of school, but seriously, Garcia in college just to be in college? I don't th...wait, no, I could see this. It's pretty much what he's doing now.).
I'd love to see Garcia follow the Joe Kane path to redemption by getting help if he needs it, and is not just being a college bro, or simply learn to not be an idiot. He is essentially McConaughey trapped inside an SEC quarterback's body and that, fair people, is high quality entertainment that should not be taken from us. But I fear that it will soon be.
So good luck, young Garcia and inner McConaughey in your future travels. I hope we'll see you in the fall, but if not, JKL, brother, JKL. But not too much, you know.
Interestingly enough, Joe Kane was both Stephen Garcia AND Chris Weinke before Stephen Garcia and Chris Weinke. So, CORRECTION: Well done, casting director, well done.