“Can’t-Miss” Carpenter’s Legend Lives On

Bobby Carpenter

I recently came across a post on Mental Floss (home of the great Don Cherry quiz) titled “Where Are They Now? High School Kids Immortalized By Sports Illustrated” and skimmed it.  Then I came to #7:

7. Bobby Carpenter: February 23, 1981

The Cover: The subheadline accompanying the image of “The Can’t-Miss Kid” performing a hockey stop says it all. “Here’s Bobby Carpenter. He’s 17 and hails from Peabody, Mass. NHL scouts say he’s the best U.S. prospect they’ve seen. Ever.” 

The article continues with a misleading sentence, “Like Ovechkin would be more than 23 years later, Carpenter was drafted
by the Washington Capitals with the third pick of the 1981 NHL draft,” but who’s counting?  While Carpenter was no Ovechkin, at least he had a decent career as a professional athlete, unlike many of the others on the list.

However, I really felt bad for #9, Mike Peterson.  Reading the description tells me that Sports Illustrated seemingly didn’t have much going on back then, if they accepted letters from barbers as proof of the next big thing.  Peterson, who didn’t progress too far with his athletic career, said: “The same week the article came out I was at a camp in Colorado, and everyone there wanted to play me one-on-one in basketball. If they did well, they asked why they weren’t on the cover. It was as if I was supposed to be the world’s greatest athlete.”  Not many people can live up to those expectations.  Poor guy.

On a side note, the article wasn’t completely devoid of humor- well, at least in the comments section.  Who knew that LSU graduates took themselves so seriously?  

“In profiles 5 and 6, this article refers to Louisiana State University, calling it one time “Louisiana State” and the next simply “LSU.” It’s the same school, please refer to it consistently.  For the record, LSU’s Sports Information department prefers “LSU” over “Louisiana State” in written articles.”

Of course, the next several comments were either calling her out for being ridiculously arrogant or quibbling over the meaning of the word “acronym.”  Seriously.  You’ve got to love the Internet- everyone’s an editor!

This entry was posted in Former Coaches & Players, National Hockey League, NHL, Washington Capitals and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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