Friday Rants always tries to contain colorful content and commentary. This week, the rainbow of rants takes a hue…of blue.
1. It has come to light officials at Boise State, while agreeing to become a member of the Mountain West Conference last year, included in the agreement BSU would refrain from wearing their all-too-familiar all-blue unis on their all-too-familiar all-blue turf. Opposing schools in the MWC felt in admitting Boise State they should address the fact the Broncos, since 1999, are 77-2 on their faux field. Predictably, BSU Head Coach Chris Petersen finds all of this offensive…but he added a colorful editorial when he said, “It’s a tragedy of college football. I thought it was ridiculous. That’s our colors. That’s who we are. That’s who our fans have wanted us to be since I’ve been at Boise State. That’s what it’s been through and through.” Petersen then went on to question why schools who have green as their primary color can wear all-green clothing on their green grass or turf.
Chris Petersen…blue boo-hoo. Your use of the word “tragedy” to describe this wardrobe adjustment is going to be hard to top as the most inappropriate use of the word ever. It was cute when you guys played no one, dominated your pathetic schedules and snuck into major bowl games at year’s end and did well. But, now it’s pathetic each year you settle for just having to win one semi-serious game on your pathetic schedule to be automatically considered for another major bowl…and we have a system that allows for such folly. That’s more of a “tragedy” than not being able to blend into the background anymore. Then again, you’re used to hiding out.
2. The United States Navy (whose primary color is also a shade of blue) has signed off on a college basketball game to be played on the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson on Veterans Day, 11/11/11. Sportsattitudes is all for this kind of pushing the envelope when playing sporting events in unique environments as long as regulation rules can be carried out and the competition is not compromised. One notable colossal failure when you go down this road was last season’s Illinois-Northwestern football game at Wrigley Field…played in one direction. There are allegedly contingencies for moving the game at the last minute if there are issues…not the least of which is if the carrier is ordered out. One of its most recent missions was to bury Osama bin Laden at sea…you don’t think that’s why this particular carrier was selected, do you? The teams involved will be Michigan State and North Carolina. ESPN is even allotting extra telecast time for a post-game, celebrating-the-USA concert…and that is where I start singing the blues.
U.S. Navy and ESPN…since this is clearly a college basketball game embedded within an over-the-top tribute to the military in general and specifically a promotional tool for the Navy, why schedule two big-time teams which we already see every game they play…in a game where you’ll keep reminding us how early it is and both teams aren’t up to speed yet…in a setting where you’ll keep reminding us how unique the setting is so don’t read too much into these teams’ performances…well…why not have Navy play Army? Now THERE’S a tribute to the military. A rivalry that is a mortal lock to be highly competitive. Certainly not the best basketball players in the country but ones who will bust it for forty minutes no matter how early the season…and the unique setting of the game will actually lend itself to maximum effort on both sides. Do something unique and truly honor the military. Can you imagine the thrill of those players being in that environment? Ratings? Please. If you advertised it properly you’d get MORE people to watch my proposed match-up. Do we need to see Roy Williams and Tom Izzo on Veterans Day? No. We’ll see them for five flippin’ months.
3. And speaking of North Carolina (whose primary color is also a shade of blue)…nine days…NINE DAYS…before the start of preseason football practice they fire Head Coach Butch Davis. We won’t go into the details as to why his program was under fire from the NCAA – whose program isn’t under fire from the NCAA? The point is ELEVEN DAYS before the start of preseason football practice this university had Butch represent the Tar Heels at the ACC Media Day in Pinehurst, NC where he spoke early and often about the “overwhelming” support he had from the administration in light of his recent woes. And in fact, said administration left him in charge for all of last season when 14 players were benched for the opener…several stayed on the sidelines for the entire season…friends and former employees of Davis were eventually tied to financial and academic fraud allegations. There are more rumors…but please…
North Carolina…maybe you’ve got so much overwhelming evidence on deck there would be another season of controversy in the making but you had your chance to dump Davis at the end of last season. You know, at this point I am starting to wonder if we won’t begin to see a decline in the quality of college football coaches similar to politicians. Who wants to run for public office anymore? Scrutiny overwhelms the desire to serve. I see the same happening with college football coaches. You cannot monitor 24/7 100 kids, coaches and their “contacts”…and a NCAA rulebook written for a fantasy world only they live in. Sure, you can accept the big check and the title of Head Coach…but you can’t possibly do what you are being asked to do. And as for more allegations possibly coming out during this season, it doesn’t matter what North Carolina or any other college gets “found out” about after the fact. We ultimately only remember the games. We can’t keep up with all the NCAA’s vacated championships, wins, trophies, etc. We just watch and enjoy the games. You win the BCS and they take it away from you a few years later?…that’s only on paper. We saw you win it. For all of us, that’s has to be enough satisfaction these days watching big-time college football.