One day in late summer, I was sitting in my living room. Like many people around that time of year, I was desperate for the NFL season to start. I was so desperate that particular day that I decided to watch a preseason game for a team other than the Colts. I don’t think anyone really likes preseason football, especially if it involves watching a team other than your favorite one. I’ve even heard broadcasters make fun of the games they were working. This other team happened to be the Minnesota Vikings, and it just so happened to be Adrian Peterson’s NFL debut. Adrian Peterson is now one of the best running backs in the NFL and last year’s league MVP.
I remember watching Peterson take a hand-off and shoot out of the backfield like he’d been shot out of a cannon. He pushed through the line, then flew out to the sideline. At that point, most running backs would just scoot out of bounds when approached by a defensive player. I expected that to happen, but when a defensive player caught up with Peterson, he threw the guy to the ground and kept running. When the next guy caught up with him, Peterson put his shoulder down and knocked the guy clean over. There was just something about him that made him noticeably better than everybody else.
I remember thinking (I may have even said it out loud like someone was listening to me), “This guy is going to be awesome.”
A couple weeks later, I was invited to participate in an in-person fantasy football draft. Now, I am convinced that fantasy football neatly divides the American population into two groups: people who think fantasy football is stupid and people who have forgotten that fantasy football is stupid and are delusional enough to think it is real. I started in the first group, then ended in the latter.
Not having been to a live fantasy draft before, I thought it would be fun. I was wrong. When I arrived at the draft, I realized I had totally underestimated the gravity of the situation. These guys were probably more prepared for this draft than they had been for any test of their entire academic careers. They made fun of me because I had not brought any “resources” (large binders and multiple magazines of research). It may have hurt my feelings, but I’m not committing to that.
They gave me the fourth pick in the draft, a pencil I requested and a list of players in the draft. I named my team Laces Out Dan as clever tribute to one of my favorite movies, Ace Ventura. My logo was a picture of Dan Marino.
The following is one of the proudest moments of my life. Yes, I have indeed moved into the second fantasy football group – the delusional group. Three people went before me. They were all as over-prepared as people can be for a pretend game. Accordingly they were all very confident in their picks. When it got to my turn, I couldn’t believe my eyes. All three of these guys missed the most obvious and best pick of all! Adrian Peterson was still sitting there, just begging me to pick him to my team. I didn’t hesitate in doing so.
Yes, I gloated at their mistake. After all, they may or may not have hurt my feelings. Though I am no longer in their league, it turned out my Adrian Peterson pick that day was THE best pick of the draft. It was one of the best picks for years to come. And this brings me to my point.
Sometimes you just know something is a great pick. You see a shirt in a store, a puppy at a breeder or a budding star running back in the preseason, and something tells you there’s something different about said shirt, puppy or running back. Sometimes it’s a school.
When I first encountered the Marian University ABSN Program for St. Vincent, I just knew there was something different about it. They were nicer, more helpful, and their approaches just seemed to make more sense for someone who already has a bachelor’s degree than other accelerated programs I had researched. I went with it, and my choice has been affirmed over and over as I’ve heard from nurses I encounter at work.
It turns out, Marian has a great reputation! Nurses around have seen alumni from this program and have said there’s just something different about them. I hear it over and over again when I tell people where I go to school, and I see the respect they have for Marian in their faces.
If you are just perusing the internet at this point and are vaguely interested in this program, let me encourage you to look a little deeper. There is just something different about it.