A New Year's resolution list for UCF's Blake Bortles

Blake Bortles, you've earned the right to repeat this Ron Burgundy mantra to yourself in private.

"I'm kind of a big deal."

Go ahead, it's OK. You and the Knights are poised to play in a BCS game, the final year before college football starts a playoff system. You've been balling all season under-the-radar and you're just now getting a taste of the national spotlight.

The NFL is calling and 2014 could be one of the biggest years of your life. Surely, you're quite busy. Too busy, in fact, to make a New Year's resolution list. So we've saved you a little time and created one for you.

• Give yourself permission to sucker punch a teammate in the face …

But only if he demands you pay $15,000 for dinner because you're an NFL rookie. Sports pundits across the country applauded Jonathan Martin for leaving the Miami Dolphins amid reports of harassment and bullying at the hands of suspended lineman Richie Incognito. Generally speaking, violence should never be a solution for conflict resolution. But a swift sucker punch, much like the one Martin figuratively levied, can do the trick every now and then when dealing with a bully. Otherwise, make sure you get lots of doggie bags for those thousand-dollar steaks you purchased.

• Learn the workout regimens for Peyton Manning and Adrian Peterson.

These guys proved again in 2013 that their bodies are freaks of nature, sustaining high levels of play after recovering from injuries to star in 2012. Surely they have good workout habits.

• Learn the workout regimens for Derrick Rose and RG3 ...

... and do the opposite. Nobody has time for the sidelines, where these two stars too often can be found.

•Avoid deer-antler spray.

Ray Lewis and Alabama football became the subject of scrutiny earlier this year when they were accused of using deer-antler spray as a performance enhancing drug. It's a little-known fact this is a banned substance. But if ever in doubt, just know consuming any product created from animals with four legs is a bad idea.

• Study Tim Tebow

For his multi-media skills. Tebow entered the 2013 NFL regular season without a team and yet managed to trigger a Google alert off new headlines at least five times a day. This is an essential skill to develop for post-football life.

• Do not sell your autograph …

That is until you're done with college football. Your comrade Johnny Manziel forgot the cardinal rule of big-time college football is that everyone else is allowed to make money except you.

• Start watching the OWN network.

If you keep living a big life, you're bound to make mistakes. Should you continue playing football at the next level, avoid hiring a personal public-relations specialist. That's a waste of money when you can just study Oprah interviews. Lance Armstrong almost made himself believable and likable when he talked with the former talk-show queen about his performance-enhancing drug use.

• Keep Taylor Swift in your pregame music mix.

It's the quirky things that make us special. The fact that you listen to Swift before games is cool. Never change that.

• Play the NCAA Tournament women's basketball bracket.

You'll have some down time in March. Join a bracket pool and pick UConn for the win. The Huskies did, after all, beat Louisville 93-60 for the school's eighth national title earlier this year with a bunch of freshmen. Easiest money you'll ever make. Trust me.

• Get to know Andy Enfield.

He's the former Florida Gulf Coast basketball coach who is otherwise known for marrying a former Maxim model. That might have been one of the most intriguing storylines of the 2013 NCAA Tournament. Clearly, the man has game, and I'm not talking about basketball.

• Always, always, always meet your girlfriend.

Take a lesson from Manti Te'o and never become that guy. It's imperative that you actually meet the person you're dating in person. Catfish is more than a meal these days.

Cheers.

sjowens@orlandosentinel.com

 

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