Despite multiple suspensions as a result of drunken revelry, poor decisions, and general college bro behavior, South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia was given chance after chance to remain as a member of the football team. Even after last spring's suspension when all signs pointed to Spurrier had finally had enough, Garcia escaped dismissal and was allowed to remain with the team.
Given Spurrier's general lack of patience and that it exponentially increases when it comes to his quarterbacks, the idea that Garcia could behave so erratically both on and off the field and not find his way off the team or out of playing time makes little to no sense. To get to the bottom of Spurrier's inexplicable leniency, I assembled the finest investigation team zero dollars could buy. Consisting of only me, the team began an exhaustive, part-of-the-morning look into why Spurrier never ended the Stephen Garcia era in Columbia. The results were quite stunning and led me to one prime suspect:
Observe, Alshon Jefferey in 2010, discussing his next touchdown with Spurrier:
Jeffery, again in 2010, reacting to a Connor Shaw pass nowhere hear him:
Now, here is Jeffery in 2011:
And in a recent Sports Illustrated cover shoot:
Packing an additional 20-25 pounds of the non-muscle variety, and combined with the lack of improvement by Connor Shaw, after all, if Shaw were a functional quarterback, Spurrier would have sent Garcia packing months ago, there is only one conclusion to make here:
Alshon Jeffery ate Connor Shaw's career.
Compelling piece of evidence number one, Shaw in 2010:
Compelling piece of evidence number two, Shaw in 2011; note the area inside the circle:
Faced with the possibility of spending his last year in Columbia watching passes thrown over his head or skipped at his feet and potentially hurting his draft stock, Jeffery acted, and did so boldly. Spurrier had indeed reached his breaking point with Garcia and was prepared to inform Shaw that he would be named the starting quarterback and Garcia could leave or do "whatever it is that he does." But Shaw never showed up. There was no leap from last year to this year. Frustrated by a less dumb and talented version of Garcia, Spurrier was forced to keep Garcia on the team as the starter and hope the quarterback could put it all together for once.
With some Tony's, bacon fat, and a special homemade sauce, as well as seven trips to McDonald's every day just because it was near the house, Jeffery preserved Garcia's career and gave himself and South Carolina a chance to do something special this season. Even if it meant becoming the first ever 275-pound wide receiver.