Sam Harper is feeling good. He’s free. Two days ago, he announced to the press and the Facebook community that he had broken up with his high school girlfriend of two years, Kristen Shaw. Now Harper, sans-girlfriend, is “out on the prowl again,” as he characterizes it.
“It just had to happen, man,” He tells me as we walk towards a party on Friday night. The leaves are whistling off the trees with every gust of November wind. There will be snow soon. “We weren’t getting any closer together, our lives and everything. Plus look around, man. I’m young and in college. Gotta live it up, right?”
It’s a classic example of the “turkey drop,” a phenomenon that has been gaining popularity among new college students across the nation in recent years. As Harper tells it, he went home on break and spent some quality time with Kristen before axing her.
“We had a nice time together, a nice last week, and then I did the deed the night before I was supposed to go back.”
Sam Harper has a new swagger to his step, a strut that was previously absent. He winks at girls who pass us, on the way to other parties. How did Kristen react to this abrupt breakup?
“Oh she was mad for awhile, she yelled and threw some stuff, but hey, that’s life in the NFL, right?” He laughs and kicks some leaves. We’re outside the house now. You can hear the music thumping from within. “Besides, staying with her would be a disservice to me and all these fine ladies at this school, am I right?”
He looks up at the house for a minute. “Watch this now, watch how the old Sam-Meister goes to work.” He laughs again. “Oh man, college is going to be cr-a-a-a-zy.”
We walk in and pause. The room is dark. People are dancing. The music is loud. Alcohol is flowing.
Sam Harper is frozen.
“Jesus, what do I–what do I do?”
The party continues to rage on. Sam Harper’s lip is now quivering. He wipes his eye. Suddenly he pulls out his phone, and mumbles something almost inaudible.
“I gotta go…I, uh…have to make a phone call. Gotta…oh God, gotta get her back.”
And the Sam Harper of swagger and cool and arrogance is gone, like a ghost into the misty November night. Life in the NFL.