Turns out Bryce Petty isn't perfect
DALLAS -- Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty is the best offensive player in the Big 12, a prototypical 6-foot-3, 230-pound wizard with a cannon arm and quick feet who added 4,200 passing yards, 46 total TDs and one conference title to his résumé last season.
He's also beloved by his community in Waco, where he volunteers regularly and runs a Bible study. He will finish his master's in December. It's impossible for Baylor fans to love their humble, friendly golden boy any more than they already do. Yet they will exceed those limits this fall.
"He has every attribute you want in a quarterback and a leader of your football team," Baylor athletic director Ian McCaw said.
"That's Zeus himself," Baylor defensive end Shawn Oakman said. "That's the man. I want to be like Petty when I grow up."
His go-to receiver, Antwan Goodley, added: "He can date my daughter."
Petty can't possibly be that good, can he? All the glowing praise and uncontrollable swooning might fool most people, but it's all starting to get a little too suspicious.
What is Petty hiding? What are the flaws he doesn't want you to know about? ESPN attempted to answer those questions at Big 12 media days with a brief but thorough investigation. Here's the real scandalous stuff:
1. Bryce Petty cannot sing or dance.
This accusation, which came from multiple teammates, was understandably disputed by Petty. He said he can, in fact, dance, but he's not much of a "two-stepper" and is more of a "rhythm dancer," whatever that means.
As for his singing abilities, sources say Petty was asked to sing during Baylor's drive up to Dallas for media days when the popular song "Stay With Me" by Sam Smith came on the radio. He refused, claiming Smith sings too high for his range.
Petty admits this anecdote is true but believes he is a good singer depending on "when you catch me."
"The car is not a very acoustic environment, so you can't really hear the bravado or tone," Petty said. "I do sing in the shower. I listen to everything. A little Justin Timberlake, Coldplay, John Mayer ..."
Oakman does not accept this excuse.
"He can't sing. Nah. He can't sing," Oakman said. "I could tell from day one in the locker room."
2. Bryce Petty is bad at golf.
There is indisputable evidence to support this.
Earlier this summer, while training with George Whitfield in San Diego, Petty made a fool of himself at Callaway headquarters. He asked for a chance to take a swing in one of the company's golf simulators, not knowing the horror that would ensue.
As Petty completed his backswing, his driver flew out of his hand and across the room, ricocheting off a wall along with the ball. His fellow quarterbacks howled with laughter.
Baylor linebacker Bryce Hager said the incident was further proof Petty isn't much of a golfer. He and a roommate recently faced Petty and former Baylor linebacker Eddie Lackey in a golf scramble.
"We won by a lot," Hager said. "He was struggling on the putting."
Despite all the criticism, Petty is confident the simulator fiasco was not his fault.
"The guy hands me a club, and I immediately knew this thing is slick; there's no grip," he said. "I was tempted to ask for a glove. I knew it was going to slip out.
"If there wasn't plastic tarps, I'd probably still be there paying off the debt from all those cameras and sensors I crashed into. The ball barely made it onto the screen.
"But I had a 128 mph swing speed, so I'm not mad about that."
3. Bryce Petty cares too much about his hair
Hager says he believes Petty is self-conscious when it comes to his haircut and style. The senior linebacker says his quarterback spends too much time on it and that it "doesn't really work, in my opinion."
Petty is absolutely furious when confronted with Hager's accusation.
"My hair? He gets up and blow-dries his hair. You need to ask him about it," Petty said. "When he had long hair two years ago, he would blow-dry and comb it and everything."
Both admit that Baylor coach Art Briles wishes Petty had long hair and a beard and has expressed this idea repeatedly. Petty even said that, after he shaved to attend a Big Brothers Big Sisters event, Briles was upset with him.
"He doesn't like me being a pretty boy," Petty said. "He wants me to be mean. He wants me to be ugly."
Petty's predecessor Nick Florence did grow out the thick beard and the messy hair that Briles demanded.
"Yeah, but Florence had a wife," Petty said. "I'm single. So I've gotta get all the help I can get."
There's one last flaw that Petty himself revealed, and it's a doozy.
"Sometimes," he said, "I try to be too perfect."