It should go without saying that a quarterback’s undershirt isn’t what makes him play well or poorly in a given week, but in college football, small bits of minutiae and superstition can be blown out of proportion. When an SEC team like Arkansas loses to one of the worst teams in all of FBS, you’ll see plenty of people grasping at straws over the result. This week, it is quarterback Nick Starkel, and his Justin Bieber shirt.
The former Texas A&M transfer threw five interceptions in the Razorbacks’ shocking 31-24 loss to San Jose State, one of the worst Group of Five teams over the last few years. SJSU only converted one of those picks into a touchdown, but the final one handed the ball back to the Spartans and allowed them to run out the clock.
Starkel has become somewhat famous in the college football world for his devotion to pop star Justin Bieber. Most notably, he made a tradition of wearing a Bieber shirt under his uniform during games.
— Nicholas Starkel (@NickStarkel) July 16, 2019
Again, nothing about this explains the five interceptions. Still, Starkel felt the need to address the shirt after what was likely the worst loss of his career.
After the game, he tweeted that he was “done with the distractions,” and he had ripped the shirt in half.
Bieber shirt has been ripped in half and thrown away. No more nonsense. No more distractions. All I’m focusing on is this team and this season. Nothing else. ✌🏼
— Nicholas Starkel (@NickStarkel) September 22, 2019
He may not have expected to draw a reaction from Bieber himself.
The Biebs hopped on his Instagram story to let Nick Starkel know that he is disappointed in the decision.
2019 hogs is Justin Bieber being disappointed at Nick Starkel for throwing away the game day Bieber shirt… what a time to be alive pic.twitter.com/hLCm5n6Wwq
— kendra rich (@kendra_rich) September 22, 2019
Arkansas has the look of a last-place finisher in the SEC West after the SJSU loss, the Chad Morris era doesn’t look to be progressing in the ways many thought it would, and now the Razorbacks have lost one big Belieber.
It is definitely a tough week in Fayetteville, for sure.