Millennials had been the primary technology to make multitasking a faith. Hovered over by helicopter mother and father, they — we — had been inspired to see no ceiling to our potential and no limits to our choices as we had been ferried amongst faculty, basketball apply, piano classes, test-prep tutoring and group outings to the flicks.
“It’s not the stick that drives them on, it’s the carrot,” David Brooks wrote of the oldest Millennials, who had been school college students in 2001. “Opportunity lures them.”
But that, it seems, was little one’s play. Kyler Murray, born in 1997 — making him both an especially younger Millennial or a member of the rising Generation Z — was already set to go from Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback of Oklahoma, a major-conference champion, to budding star outfielder for the Oakland Athletics.
Murray added an additional twist Monday, although, when he introduced — how? on Twitter, after all! — that opposite to expectations he would enter the N.F.L. draft, regardless of having acquired a $four.66 million signing bonus with the A’s final yr. He had been chosen with the ninth general decide within the Major League Baseball draft on the understanding that this previous season can be his final on the gridiron.
“I’ve always felt like I could play in the N.F.L.,” Murray mentioned final month. “I’m a confident guy.”
He added of soccer: “I’ve played this game my whole life and I’ve always felt like I could do it.”
There are some ways Murray’s pre-professional saga may conclude, and it’s not in any respect sure that he’ll ever go well with up for an N.F.L. workforce. The league mix is subsequent month; whether or not Murray reveals up will inform us extra about his true intentions. (It may also inform us extra about his true peak, which Oklahoma lists at an already-short-for-an-N.F.L. quarterback 5 ft 10 inches.)
Murray and his representatives met with the A’s and a league consultant on Sunday, in line with a supply with information of the talks, the place it was established that the A’s may supply him a bigger, major-league contract. Murray entered the draft in an effort to study extra what N.F.L. entrance places of work consider him, the supply mentioned.
Late final yr, Murray and his baseball agent, Scott Boras, insisted that the plan was for Murray to play one season as Oklahoma’s starter and then report to spring training for the Athletics. Such a deal was apparently part of the negotiating process that led to Murray’s baseball contract, and was outlined in a news conference last spring with A’s executives.
Still, that Murray would even entertain the possibility of playing both big league baseball and quarterback on Sundays — or would be so self-assured of his talents as to make leveraging one against the other a plausible ploy — is something new in American sports.
When Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders were two-sport stars two decades ago, they were a running back and a cornerback. Those are difference-making positions, but quarterback they are not.
And in 1994, after Charlie Ward won the Heisman playing quarterback at Florida State, he said he would turn to basketball unless he was picked in the N.F.L. draft’s first round. When he was not, he embarked on a decade-long career in the N.B.A., mostly with the Knicks.
The differences between the two pastimes must have seemed blurrier then. Free agency was only dawning in the N.F.L. Many revelations concerning the toll of repeated hits to the head were still years into the future.
Nowadays, we know how dangerous football can be. But we also know that young baseball players face many years of some combination of playing in the minor leagues and making lowish salaries under team control before hitting an ostensibly open market into which franchises are seemingly pouring less money every year. All this while franchise quarterbacks sign deals worth $30 million a year after finishing rookie contracts that are not exactly ungenerous.
Football versus baseball, in other words, is not the obvious, clear-cut decision that some might have once thought it was.
It is conceivable that Murray will not have to choose. He is frequently projected as a first-round N.F.L. draft pick, and already was one in baseball. First-round picks are among the most valuable assets in both leagues, and no team in either would knowingly waste one by using it on someone with no intention of trying to live up to it.
Either way, Murray has already transcended the team-first ethos of both sports, exploiting his moment of utmost possibility for all it is worth. This might be the ultimate Millennial move: always, always play your cards optimally, and you will maximize your accomplishments.
Then again, an older person — even an older Millennial — might point out that money, fame and glamour are worth only so much. In the long run, we are all running on a treadmill no matter how fast our 40-yard dash is.
This much we know for sure: should he not withdraw his entry into the N.F.L. draft, he will irrevocably give up his final season of eligibility in college football.
That is a wholly understandable decision. In college, the pay is lousy, and there is a definite sense that real life is still a thing in the future. But as many a proud alum knows, college can be the best, and real life can be overrated.