Among the pile of Christmas cards and bills alike…more believable answers to make-believe mail…
Q. The Bowls have all made their selections now. There will be a rematch for the BCS Title. I know you have often suggested we ignore the blatant politics, faux organizations and selective punishments that make up college sports today. Anything specific to say about the 2011 college football post-season coming up?
A. I was completely convinced it would be “Silent Night” on this subject for me, even if provided a BCS Championship Game between two teams that may once again fail to forward the football. However, it would be remiss of me to not mention a couple of observations, continuing to acknowledge we simply have to enjoy whatever college sports sets before us at this point…even if Shanghai University is currently under consideration by the Big East and they are considering a name change to Far East. While we can’t do anything about breaking up the Money Mafia that currently controls college football from outside, this season it looks like they will finally devour themselves from within. Ironic all of us were screaming our lungs out outside their world for change awhile back until we lost our collective voice and gave up…but lo and behold we have a season before us where a team that didn’t even play for its BCS Conference Championship will play for the BCS Championship. Between now and whenever that game is scheduled (is it before pitchers and catchers report?), there is going to be so much agonizing over all this all people across the globe will finally, completely pass out from it all. People who think football is soccer. ALL people. Boise State HC Chris Petersen sums up the growing sentiment… “Everybody is just very tired of the BCS. I think that’s the bottom line. Everybody is frustrated. Everybody doesn’t really know what to do anymore. It doesn’t make sense to anybody. I don’t think anybody is happy anywhere.” I think Chris used great restraint considering his team somehow is participating in a Bowl Game with the NINETEENTH-highest payout while ranked SEVENTH in the Contest From Hell the BCS actually is. “Death To The BCS” makes a great stocking stuffer. Read it before the Sugar Bowl between Michigan and Virginia Tech. Paul Hoolahan, the Don of the Sugar Bowl, lit up everyone’s last nerve a couple of days ago when after watching Virginia Tech get scorched a SECOND time by Clemson (yes, Clemson) to the tune of 38-10…said the selection of Tech to play in his Bowl was due to not only the Hokies’ ability to sell tickets and tourism…but also because Virginia Tech has proven itself “over the years.” And you thought Bowl Games were a reward to a team for a uniquely good season (which I might add can be 6-7 now…please welcome UCLA to the Fight Hunger Bowl…). Silly. Bowl Games are simply a reward to a university that can generate dollars at the destination under consideration…and Paul finally said out loud what everyone knew but probably needed to hear someone with the nerve actually say it…merit achieved on the field during the season in question is secondary to not only if you can make Bowls money, but if you generated cash for them in prior seasons as well. The next time someone says college football is great because “every game matters,” cheerfully agree with them. Just make sure they are talking about every game a team has ever played.
Q. Maryland President Wallace Loh said late last month he has accepted a plan to cut eight of the university’s 27 varsity sports as of June, 2012. Yet, he left the door open for them to continue should they be able to raise funds on their own. Thoughts?
A. Another “Loh” blow for college athletics the type of which I have been raging on about for a while now. The true travesty of college football (see above) is many people think it is some kind of savior for low or non-revenue generating athletics. Quite the opposite. I thought a well-rounded collegiate experience included the ability of a university the size and scope of Maryland to provide men’s cross-country, track, swimming, tennis, etc. I was wrong. In 2011, a well-rounded collegiate experience has as its priority the football team being able to achieve 200 plus possible uniform combinations (most of which have sent us into epileptic seizures upon first view). Maryland football was already unfashionable when they fired HC Ralph Friedgen last year after a Top 25 season, with the UM alum compiling one of the better overall records the program has ever seen. Continuing to show their lack of class and intelligence, they wooed and hired former UConn HC Randy Edsall while he was preparing the Huskies for their first BCS Bowl. Yes, the hiring of Edsall the day after UConn’s inaugural trip to a big time Bowl seemed like a “perfect match” of classless school and coach…and the football Gods have had their way with both Edsall and the Terps this season after their humiliating 2-10 finish. The section of the school’s web site for football that indicates “Next Event” currently shows, “There Are No Upcoming Events.” Not necessarily. Rumors are the university is about to do to Edsall – after one year – what they did to Friedgen. Here’s an idea for Maryland…sue Edsall for contractual incompetency and refuse to give him his buyout, putting that money towards the eight sports being canned. And next year, also make sure on all your possible uniform combos somewhere there is a big ol’ “L” for Losers…in more ways than one.
Q. Ohio State hired Urban Meyer as their new football HC. Good move?
A. “The Rush To Elect Urban Meyer” was one of my favorite posts…and it was written in May. Of all the ramblings you readers have sifted through on this site this post is ironically not only the most timely after all this time, but holds up quite well even after all these months. Please peruse that post if you haven’t already…if only to gather the facts as to why the answer is no…not a good move.
Q. Aren’t the Winter Baseball Meetings the BEST? All the breaking news, rumors and transactions alike? A pretty cool bridge between the end of the World Series and Spring Training, yes?
A. Yes…and no. I feel for baseball fans who once more are cruelly reminded their favorite teams are “economically challenged” for whatever reason towards getting any star players. I feel for baseball fans of teams who for whatever reason may be about to lose their star players. It is a hectic, highly charged, emotional atmosphere for all. Players find out how much they are worth…and in just as many cases…NOT worth…including from their most recent employer. In that sense, the Winter Baseball Meetings are a lot like annual reviews where you work…aside from the fact your salary is not a half a mil and your increase is 2%…not 2,000%. At this writing, the Miami Marlins appear to be trying to sign everyone. The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating the financing of their shiny new stadium. If they keep signing guys like they have, the SEC might want to take a look at the financing of the whole franchise. That being said, they are in a division with the hometown Phillies and we Phanatics welcome the challenge. Here in Philadelphia, considering the current sorry state of our NFL franchise we enthusiastically embrace the idea of a brand-new “Dream Team” being created for ESPN to get America to despise. Miami…brace yourself. Just because it’s not officially hurricane season doesn’t mean some nasty “weather” isn’t headed your way.