December Chumpservations, Vol. 1: Congress vs. the BCS, running the option in the NFL, comparing fanhood and Kentucky’s John Wall

joe-barton-texas-bcsSeparation of sports and state

Guess what! We’re not having a national championship game this year. Sorry Texas and Alabama fans. As the nation’s top two ranked teams, you will be playing a football game in January but it won’t be for a title. At least it won’t be recognized as such by Congress.

As if our elected officials didn’t have more important things to worry about like the economy, unemployment, terrorism and our troops overseas, Congress continues to impose its will on college football and the BCS.

This week, a House subcommittee approved legislation to ban promotion of a ‘national championship game’ unless it is the result of a playoff. Funny, I never saw Congress lobbying to rename the World Series even though we only had North American teams competing for it. Interestingly enough, one of the bill’s chief proponents, Joe Barton, is from Texas. Must be a TCU grad.

As most of us already know, TCU, Cincinnati and Boise State all went undefeated this season, but since it is widely perceived that they come from less competitive conferences, they were excluded from the BCS title game.

None of us can find a job or afford to buy Christmas presents for our loved one this season but at least we can rest assured our elected officials are concerned for the well-being of college football. So we have that going for us… which is nice.

football-option-diagramWhen the option is not an option. Thanks for sharing

I was sitting at a local sports bar last Sunday, watching my Buccaneers lose, which has unfortunately become a weekly occurrence. One television screen over, the Philadelphia Eagles were far enough ahead of the Atlanta Falcons that coach Andy Reid had replaced Donovan McNabb with backup Michael Vick.

On one particular play in question, the Eagles, with Vick under center, ran a busted option play to the right for a loss of two yards.

Even though his team had put the game out of reach, the Eagles fan sitting to my left threw his hands up in the air and said “See? That’s why you can’t run the option in the NFL! The defenses are too quick!”

As if this were some revelation and I was to supposed to turn to him, all enlightened and say… “Oh, THAT’S why they don’t run the option in the NFL! I’m so glad I came here today. I had always wondered why and now you’ve made it oh so clear. Thank you, sir.”

Memo to drunken sports guy sitting alone in your football jersey and your half-finished bucket of bottled beer. Please make every attempt to hold a reasonably intelligent sports conversation with the person you don’t know sitting next to you, particularly if it’s the first thing you say to them, lest you forever be judged. You never know when he’ll turn out to be a sports snob. Even worse, you never know when he writes a sports blog and will poke fun of you on the internet.

Fans by birth and I can prove it

As if that weren’t bad enough, the woman sitting to his left, two bar stools away from me, sat another Eagles fan. The Eagles, as they are prone to do (until the playoffs), are once again having a good year. That Sunday, as I mentioned, they were laying it to the Falcons pretty good.

Suddenly, for no reason whatsoever other, the two starting comparing their ‘fanhood.’

We’ve all done it. ‘I’ve been a fan of this team since bla bla bla…’ or ‘I graduated from this school back in bla bla bla’ so that makes me more of a fan than the next person. As if it’s not enough these days to simply root for a team without consequence. One now must provide a birth certificate.

These two proceeded to one-up their Eagle allegiance by comparing the Philadelphia hospitals in which they were born. Mind you, they were both wearing Eagles jerseys and cheering loudly on each play, despite the fact that the game was out of reach.

robert-shaw-richard-dreyfuss-jawsLook, I get it, you’re both fans. I don’t need paperwork to prove it. You’re either a fan or your not. Are there really levels of fanhood worth bragging over? It was like Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfus in Jaws comparing their wounds to see who was more seaworthy, just minus the academy award.

If you paint your shirtless body and attend an outdoor football game in below freezing temperature, are you that much more of a fan for doing so? Or are you just infinitely more sane for inviting friends over and grilling brauts in the comfort of your own home without having to pay $8.50 for a beer?

Wait, did I just say shirtless in below freezing temperature? Thank goodness I live in Florida!

john-wall-kentuckyJohn Wall

Has anyone seen this kid play yet? If you haven’t, I highly recommend you catch a Kentucky game soon. You should have plenty of opportunity as they’ll likely be the biggest television draw of the college basketball season. At 10-0, they should be one of the last teams standing in March.

I’m no fortune teller, I just play one on the internet, but this super frosh is the REAL DEAL. Last week, in the biggest game of his young career, with the nation’s eyes watching, in the basketball Mecca that is Madison Square Garden, John Wall showed up in a BIG way. He went 10-16 from the floor, scoring 25 points and tallying six steals. Wall will turn the ball but what young point guard won’t. You’re going to turn the ball over when forcing the action. There’s a reason Wall was the most sought after high school prospect in the nation last year and we’re starting to see why.

Even more impressive was the kid’s composure during the post-game interview. It was as if he hadn’t just knocked down 25 points the first time anyone had ever seen him on national television. Ten games into Kentucky’s undefeated season, there’s already talk of Wall being selected as the NBA’s #1 draft pick if he leaves school this year.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Wall still has an entire freshman campaign for us to enjoy. He’s raw but he’s keen, coachable and a pure talent. Drink the John Wall Kool-Aid. I have.

38 thoughts on “December Chumpservations, Vol. 1: Congress vs. the BCS, running the option in the NFL, comparing fanhood and Kentucky’s John Wall

  1. Hey, congress hasn’t done anything useful in years so they can at least get us a playoff, since there has not been an undisputed (only one undefeated team left standing) champion in a long time. Have the best two teams actually played in the big game? Is TCU better than Texas? Did Utah deserve to play last year?
    New England went 16-0 but lost a playoff game but no one complained when another team won the Super Bowl! Let’s get a playoff. It might be the only good think Obama will ever accomplish while he’s in DC!

  2. Monteau… good point.

    I think that’s what a lot of people are wondering. I’ve seen Cincy play a couple of times, including live here in Tampa where they spanked USF. They lost their starting QB mid-season and were still good enough to run the table. That’s gotta say something about that team.

    After what Utah did to Bama in their bowl game last year, I think the smaller conference teams are getting a wee bit more love, but still not enough to put them in the big one.

  3. Definately need a playoff! TCU and Cincy both got robbed. Can you imagine the outcry if the Bearcats beat your Gators and Bama wins??

  4. Howdy Finklestein, you get that job at United Fruit yet??

    The Wall kid is definitely LEGIT. The hoops season is shaping up nicely imo.

    I just covered the whole BCS/Congress thing on FB last week. Soen pretty strong opinions, with the majority leaning towards the “better things to spend their time upon” line of thought. I think I tend to agree with Dan, in that they (Congress) hasn’t really acomplished anything in years, so this might clear up a nice cluster f*ck of a problem and help their collective confidence in the process.

    Link to my friend’s post regarding BCS dealio: http://andweare.wordpress.com/ She works with college athletes and has a…well…definitive opinion.

    I like the Ingram Heisman…also like that Archie is STILL the only two time winner…until Ingram wins it next year.

  5. Good point, Seth.

    A lot of conspiracy theory people think that’s why we have a TCU-Boise State matchup, so that those two teams don’t beat up on major conference teams as well. It’d be anarchy. Cats and dogs living together.

    Personally, I don’t have a problem with Texas and Bama playing for a national title and I do think they play against pound for pound tougher competition throughout the season.

    But those three teams should be rewarded with an opportunity for something bigger.

    Good talkin’ football with ya this weekend. See ya’ soon.

  6. Sorry dude, but this time I fully agree with Congress. As long as there’s a BCS, there will never be a true National College Football Championship PERIOD What is needed is a playoff with a minimum of 8 schools involved.

    As for John Wall, yes, he is the real deal. I’m looking forward to him playing in the NBA. I really hope that he plays 4 years in college first.

  7. Snake… I think most people want a playoff, they just think Congress, as Dan and Pete pointed out, has more important things to worry about.

    Does Wall at all remind you of Rondo?

  8. say whatever you want to say about cinci , never will be good enough to beat the Gators and for that matter my CANES . Did you see the 30-30 film on the Canes Yeah Baby.

  9. What’s amazing is that the President (aka The Devil Incarnate for most Texans) is getting his agenda pushed by none other than a Texas Republican. Almost as unlikely as a Cubs/Red Sox World, er, North American Series a few years ago.

  10. Chris

    Anytime that there’s a cluster _uck in the midst of a thunderstorm you can always be sure to find at least one or two members of Congress in the midst of it all. And here’s there no reason to believe otherwise. The fascinating thing however is who’s paying Joe Barton to interject himself in the midst of this all ? I was under the impression that congressmen don’t lift their fingers for anything less $50,000 at time ?

    With regard to John Wall, he’s simply a man child in the body of a young kid. Is it any wonder that LeBron is saying that he’ll be the #1 pick overall in the next NBA draft ?

    You must be all smiles as of now ? As your Bosox have signed John Lackey. At the same time the Phillies are set to land Roy Halladay , while supposedly sending Cliff Lee to the Mariners.

    Alan Parkins

  11. Angel… Pike will probably be a better NFL QB than Tebow. Cincy has a shot as soon as they take the field if the Gators aren’t ready for them. I’m proud of you, though. You’re starting to sound like a Gator fan.

    Not sure if it’s a wash with the losses of Strong and Kelly on the coaching staffs.

    Did you order “The U” DVD?

  12. Unc… No matter how hard they try, they’re not getting a Cubs-Sox series.

    These days neither team can live up to the billing.

    Are you diggin’ the deal for Lackey?

  13. Al…

    I’m hoping Lackey will fill the well-needed rotation spot although I always thought the rotation was secure.

    Which of their starters will either be traded or moved to middle relief?

    I heard the Phils only moved Lee because they didn’t think they could sign him to a long term deal.

  14. Chris

    I think that Phillies were hedging their bets somewhat. In obtaining Halladay they get a real workhorse and that’s not to discredit Lee. But at the end of the day they went with what best fitted their needs. As to the Mariners, it may well make them the team to beat in AL West. But at this juncture I seriously doubt it ! They’ve still got to get past the Angels.

    I don’t know that the Bosox will trade anything away, as of now. They seem to be pretty much set as far as their rotation is concerned. But it wouldn’t surprise me if they also now went after Chien Ming Wang, formerly of the Yankees. He’s now become a free agent and supposedly surplus to the Yankees’ needs. This was a guy who as recently as 2007 and 2008 was a 19 game winner for that team. Now they get rid of him. But yet they hung on to a piece of crap, in Carl Pavano for 4 plus years. It makes no sense whatsoever , at all now does it ?

    Alan Parkins

  15. Hey Rev,
    I think Will Rogers said it best.
    “This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer”.
    Happy Chanukah.

  16. Phils landing Halladay was a coup, Al. They’ve done pretty well for themselves over the past few years landing some big time names.

    I’m assuming the Sox aren’t done. With the probable loss of Bay, they’re gonna have to go after a big bat. They’re probably going to have to give up Buchholz to get one.

  17. Chris

    The game itself was televised so it had to have been caught on tape, somewhere.
    It stands to reason and being as it happened on the sidelines during a game . I for am thoroughly surprised that it’s taken this long to come to the fore. Even the player’s father who’s an ex cop in TBPD said he was outraged , although he’s distanced himself somewhat from his original statement made.

    ESPN’s Joe Schad’s take on it all.

    Alan Parkins

  18. Lackey deal – I suppose it’s a smart deal. Just as smart as paying a boatload of cash for A.J. Burnett, although unlike Burnett, no one will question Lackey’s tenacity.

    I still can’t get over giving that much money – for 5 years – to a 31-year-old guy who has had recent injuries. Then again, all they had to give up was cash and a draft pick, not Casey Kelly or Clay Buchholz. But then again, those two could be gone tomorrow for Adrian Gonzalez.

    The Cameron deal was clearly smart. Jason Bay is a flawed player because he’s predictable, a bit like Rafael Soriano (but more patient). Some strikeout guys – take Ortiz or Thome in their primes – swing and miss a lot, but they’re also dangerous against all pitches and all counts. You can throw 2 fastballs inside and a slider outside and Bay will strike out consistently. And Holliday stunk up the joint in Oakland. He may be a four-A player in the AL.

  19. Chris

    This is the primary reason that a guy like Ron Artest should be seen and not heard . He’s a mere simpleton !

    Artest offers Tiger encouragement

    CHICAGO (AP) — Lakers forward Ron Artest gave Tiger Woods his support Tuesday, explaining in a blog post that he has made similar mistakes as the superstar golfer.

    In a post Tuesday, Artest said, “I can tell you’re a standup guy” while acknowledging his own infidelities. He wrote about having a baby with another woman after having two with his girlfriend, now his wife. Artest also called Woods “the perfect role model for me and my sons for longer than anyone I have known.”

    Speaking before the Lakers’ game against the Bulls on Tuesday night, Artest said Woods was there at a time when “I wasn’t a role model for my sons.”

    Woods’ image has been in a free fall since he crashed his car into a tree Nov. 27, setting off a public airing of his infidelities and marital problems.

    Artest made headlines when he told a magazine he would get drunk during games while with Chicago and that he bought alcohol at a liquor store down the street from the United Center and slipped it into his locker.

    Alan Parkins

  20. I agree, Unc.

    While there were plenty of them, I don’t think this free agency class was all that. At least the Sox went out there and did what they had to do.

    Landing Gonzalez should make them the clear winners in this off-season. But I like Buchholz. I’ll be sad to see him go.

    Although I guess we have to give to get.

  21. Chris

    Like I said , Artest is best seen and not heard. As for the Leavitt thing , the Bulls are said to be conducting their own internal investigation. As to the timeline and when we’ll know of their findings. Well, let’s just say it wouldn’t surprise me if they found nothing untoward in Leavitt’s alleged actions. But then again why conduct an investigation if you supposedly feel that the coach has done nothing wrong ?

    Who’s Now Getting More Bang For Their Buck ? Kobe , LeBron Or Nike ?

    Common Sense And Phil Knight Have Nothing In Common

    So who’s this 49 year old chick (cougar) who says she taught Tiger everything he’s ever wanted to know in the bedroom ? Man oh man, where’s the pest control people when you need them ? Chicks are now coming out faster and saying that they’ve laid with Tiger , faster than termites depart from a piece of wood , once it’s been sprayed. Porn stars , high class call girls but yet no trannies ? What’s up with that ? Isn’t Tiger sexually deviant enough to even hook up with one ? Inquiring minds need to know ? LOL,LOL,LOL !!! OK, well not that much !

    Alan Parkins

  22. Chris

    I’m wondering if any of those chicks coming forward are from the state of Florida ? And in particular from the Bay area ?

    I know that Jenny from ’round the block use to ‘put out’ but I doubt that Tiger was part of her clientele list. I mean she had to either put in or take out her false teeth when she had to do the deed. Oral that is .

    Alan Parkins

  23. Nice one. Playoffs. FOUR teams at most. A +one could work most years for that matter.

    Most years there aren’t even four teams with a legit claim to being in the title game. This year is a fluke in that regard.

    Is there ANYTHING worse than Northern NFL fans in the South? I was at the SB in Jax between Philly and N.E. Everywhere you went there were packs of 20, loudmouthed, drunk, all male, Eagle fans.

    Patriot fans normally aren’t much better, but they were outnumbered 100 to 1. At least they had girlfriends.

  24. Nice one, Gene.

    Happy belated, brother.

    I wonder how far we are away from a college football playoff.

    If Bama wins it all this year, that’ll make four years in a row for the SEC.

    One would think if any conference would be a proponent for the status quo, it’d be the SEC.

    Oh… and I hope you didn’t stare any of those Eagles fans directly in the eye.

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