SOUTH BEND, Ind.–Notre Dame wide receiver Jeff Samardzija was drafted by the Cubs in the fifth round of the 2006 First-Year Player draft. Now, Samardzija must choose between either a lifetime of constant beatings, injuries, and collisions taking their toll on his body or a lifetime of playing wide receiver in the NFL.
Samardzija has not yet leaned one way or another as to his career path. “I’m sort of between a rock and a hard place, aren’t I?” Samardzija said, his voice becoming nearly inaudible as tears welled in the corners of his eyes. “On the one hand, I could go the NFL route and have a bunch of defensive backs trying to rip my head off every time I go over the middle and try to catch a ball. On the other hand, I might some day be in the situation where Jacque Jones is playing center field behind me, or where Cesar Izturis is up with the tying run on third and the go-ahead run on second with two outs in the bottom of the ninth,” Samardzija continued. “I guess there is no real way out,” Samardzija said, thumbing through a well-read copy of Seppuku and You. “Hey, do you have a coin I can flip?”
With that, Fire Lou Piniella! ended the interview, which Samardzija had insisted be conducted inside of his parked car as it idled inside his closed garage.