Labor Day has officially come and gone and, with that, comes the unofficial end of the summer season. Although, we technically still have a few weeks left of the warmer weather, school has started up around most of the country, pumpkin spice-flavored everything has found it's way on to store shelves and baseball season is entering it's stretch run. In other words, we've basically entered fall.
Another defining characteristic of this time of the year is the start of college football season, a sporting scene that I've never really gotten into. This is probably because I went to a small, private university where the gridiron wasn't necessarily the main focus and NAIA football just doesn't have the same pomp and circumstance as it's Division I brethren. After all, I don't think anyone is talking about the University of St. Francis Fighting Saints on ESPN.
Nevertheless, many of the people I surround myself with plunge neck deep into the varsity action and, as such, I can't help but stay tangentially aware of what's going on. Over the weekend, I heard a name that sounded awfully familiar to me was apparently starting at quarterback for the University of Texas:
That's a Rookies app custom, to the right.
That name was Buechele - as in, Shane, the son of former Cubs third baseman Steve Buechele. Steve played in the Majors from 1985-95, mostly for the Texas Rangers (appropriate that Shane should also play in Texas). However, he did spend three years in the Windy City, manning third base from 1992-95.
One has to have a strong arm to hurry a throw across the diamond, so I guess it's only natural that Shane should inherit that ability (he's just plying it in a different trade).
He's not all arm though, Shane presents a dual threat as the field commander with a set of fresh legs as well as his plus throwing arm. Additionally, he's the first true freshman to start at QB for the Longhorns in quite a while, meaning he's an excellent center piece for the program to build around. Things started off well for the kid over the weekend. Starting his first career game against Notre Dame, he led Texas to an impressive 50-47 double OT victory.
Of further interest is the fact that Shane was conceived after his father had already undergone a vasectomy - what a surprise that must have been!
So, that made for a pretty neat little Cubs connection. However, after a little further research, I found out that Shane was not the only Cub progeny to be calling the signals for a Texas, collegiate football squad this weekend:
Again, that's a Rookies app custom, to the right.
He may be depicted as a Twin here, but journeyman reliever Pat Mahomes did spend some time in the Second City as well. In 2002, he split the season between the Big club and AAA Iowa, eventually getting into 16 games and posting a mediocre 3.86 ERA in his second-to-last MLB campaign. Mahomes must have loved the game though, as he stayed active in pro ball through 2009.
Also, if anyone has an extra copy of Pat's 2002 Topps Total #534 (his only Cubs card), I'd love to talk trade.
Meanwhile, Pat Jr. must have inherited his father's strong pitching arm just as Shane got his father's throwing arm, as the junior has been the starting quarterback for the Texas Tech Red Raiders since 2014. He has thrice been selected as the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week and was an honorable mention for All-Big 12 last season. Like Shane, he got his season off on the right foot, leading his men to a dominant 69-17 win over SGA. Mahomes had an eye-popping 407 yards passing in one half!
HUGE game from underrated Texas Tech QB Patrick Mahomes— College Town™ (@CollegeT0wn) September 4, 2016
540 Total yards & 6 Total TD's
Remember this name... pic.twitter.com/Iot3Fpn1hk
The younger Mahomes looks to be a legitimate NFL prospect - a multi-generational professional sporting family could be in the "cards." Ba dum tiss.
It should also be noted that both of these sons of Cubs baseball also participate on their school's baseball team as well. In fact, Patrick was drafted by the Detroit Tigers as a pitcher in the 37th round of the 2014 draft, but chose not to sign. They obviously have some pretty athletic genes.
Anyway, I thought this would make for a nice, timely tie-in to spotlight on this Cub-centric blog - I certainly found this influx of Cubs-related, Texas QB's to be interesting, at least. Perhaps this will even motivate me to pay attention to the rest of the collegiate football season... probably not, but you never know. Nevertheless, I'm pulling for them to both have good seasons and boost their draft prospects (the Bears are going to need someone down the road, after all).
In the meantime, uhhhhhh, let's go Fighting Saints!