After a lackluster end to his rookie season, Carson Wentz is now facilitating dodgeball matches in Fargo-Moorhead high school gyms.
Wentz, the 24-year-old washed-up quarterback from Bismarck, decided this off-season to hang up his cleats after an average first season with the Philadelphia Eagles. Instead of playing on Sundays, he’s been searching for weekday substitute teaching gigs.
“I thank God for my NFL career,” Wentz said inside Shanley High School’s gymnasium, where teenagers were throwing objects at each other. “It was a great experience that also sucked a bit, especially at the end.”
Wentz, who played all 16 games last season, led the team to a 4-0 start before only winning three more times in 12 games. That 7-9 record was the worst in the NFC East.
“I don’t do well with losing,” Wentz said, noting how the Bison of North Dakota State, like, never lost at all when he was around. “I figured our subpar performance was a sign that I should go back to school, finish my degree and start educating tomorrow’s future.”
The Eagles signed Wentz to a $26 million contract before he could student teach last spring. He said he quietly enrolled at M-State to finish the needed classwork to get his degree.
“They don’t have a football team at the tech school, so I didn’t get distracted,” Wentz said.
Once he obtained his degree, the disappointed redhead applied for a substitute license in North Dakota and Minnesota, which, since he has a pulse, he received.
“And it’s been a wild ride ever since,” Wentz sighed, ignoring one of his students as she writhed in pain on the gym floor. “It’s always something different. Today, it’s dodgeball. Yesterday, it was cup stacking.
“Tomorrow, it’ll probably be dodgeball.”
Students seem equally ecstatic to have Mr. Wentz as a teacher.
“He’s pretty tall,” Cami Carter, 14, said. “And he seems morbidly depressed.”
Derek Donahugh, a 17-year-old junior, agreed.
“He’s one of the taller substitute teachers I’ve seen during my time within the Fargo Public School system,” Donahugh said. “And, without a doubt, he’s the saddest educator I’ve talked to.”
Wentz’s height and melancholy serve him well, at least according to Greg Grundahl, a full-time high school counselor at Moorhead High.
“It’s nice to see Carson quickly adapt to the morose environment of 21st century K-12 education in America,” Grundahl said. “His NFL disappointments will transition nicely into the classroom once he gets hired on a staff.”
Wentz said he’s not up for any of the challenges.
“I can’t wait to do this until I qualify for retirement at age 67,” he said, staring into the abyss of empty bleachers.