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.
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.
Look, 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!
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.