Years ago I went snow skiing for the very first time in Keystone, Colorado. I was about 25 years old and in good shape, but I had never even put on a ski before and I was a bit nervous about looking like a fool.
It seems my anxiety would be well founded as I made a fool of myself many times. I went with my sister, Alice and her friend Cindy Alvear. They were experienced. But, like all new skiers, I was told to snow plow which would keep my speed down and obviously that is how you stop. I had no clue what snow plowing was other than the big blade that is on the front of a big truck that moved snow off the roads so that people could drive.
Getting off the ski lifts, you are supposed to get low in the chair. What exactly does that mean? I leaned forward like I thought they told me, but I kept falling and nearly being run over by the chair that I was just sitting on and then the skiers behind on the next chairs. It was embarrassing, to have
some employee have to pick you up out of the way of the next group.
We finally went to the top of the mountain and after a few minutes of falling, I realized that I was ruining the other’s fun. I told them to go on without me and I would get it figured out by the time I got to the bottom.
Naw, I never figured it out. I just fell when I needed to stop and I fell a lot. I wore jeans and a light jacket and I was soaked to the bone and probably shaking like a wet dog in Alaska. The next morning, I was so sore I could barely lift my arms and I swore off skiing for life.
Later having kids, I finally did ski again. But, that next time, I decided to take lessons and I learned how to really snow plow. I also learned that when they said to get low getting off the ski lift, they really meant get low and I mean really low. Suddenly, I could ski and get off the ski lift without falling. But, by then, skiing was a lot of work and it was too tiring for a working man with a bad back.
For kids like Jeremy Bloom that grew up in, or near, the mountains and they started skiing when they were children, it was a piece of cake.
I don’t know where Bloom skied his very first time, but I’ve read that he grew up skiing at the very place I attempted my very first time, Keystone, Colorado. Bloom was probably about 5 years old, or less, when I was there, so I am sure we never saw each other.
Lots of people ski, but Jeremy Bloom took it to an entirely different level. He was a three time World Champion, made two United States Olympic Teams and was an 11 time World Cup Medalist. He was phenomenal on the slopes, but that’s not why we are here.
Jeremy Bloom was also really fast.
In high school, Bloom was a 2 year starter in football and he was a star in track and field. He led his high school teams to state championships in both sports. In track, he ran the 100 and 200 meters and all relay teams.
The Colorado Buffaloes noticed the speedy in state product and signed him.
As a freshman at Colorado, Bloom proved his talent and earned the respect with 2 punt returns for touchdowns. He averaged 15 yards per return on 23 punts that year and he took one kickoff for 38
yards on his only attempt. Bloom caught only 2 passes that season, but he took one for 98 yards and averaged over 50 yards per catch.
In 2003, Bloom caught 22 passes for 356 yards and a score. He also ran the ball 10 times for 52 yards. He didn’t have a punt return for a touchdown as a sophomore, but he did return a kickoff for a score.
Bloom was only 5-9, 180 but he had plenty of speed and ability.
The NCAA kicked in and in spite of letting some school’s boosters pay players and all kinds of other shenanigans, they decided to make Jeremy Bloom ineligible because of his skiing.
He fought hard to remain eligible, but the NCAA stopped him from ever playing another down of college football.
What a shame.
In the 2006 NFL Draft, the Philadelphia Eagles drafted Jeremy Bloom in the 6th round. Bloom spent the entire 2006 season on injured reserve. He later signed with Pittsburgh, but wasn’t in football for much longer probably mostly due to his lack of size.
Make no mistake about it, Jeremy Bloom was a talented athlete and was just coming into his own when the NCAA ruled him ineligible. He was an outstanding return man with his lightening quick speed and he was a dangerous deep threat as a wide receiver.
The NCAA should go all out to keep college programs clean, but this was a bonehead move by them. The rules have been changed since this time, but it’s still annoying that they go balls to the walls after some player that just happens to be a skier while some professional athletes have repeatedly stated
on national television, or other interviews that they were paid by boosters while they were playing college ball and nothing ever came of it.
Here, they punish a kid and he has to sit out two years before attempting to make an NFL team. Just a dirty, rotten shame.
Another thing, Jeremy Bloom may be 5-9, 180, but I would suggest leaving the guy alone. He took up karate as a 5 year old and was a black belt by the age of 12. He participated in Mixed Martial Arts a little bit, so don’t get in his face about anything.
This post was inspired by a recent trip to Colorado, but I am just now getting around to finishing it.