Thursday, December 10, 2009

Those I love to hate, Part 2

Romo and the 'Boys

Oh, it's December already? We've had some unseasonably warm weather and didn't get any snow until this week, but I could have sworn I saw the Cowboys lose to an inferior team on Sunday. Let me check my calendar here ... yup, it's December!

I may or may not have been (emphasis on "may") a 49ers fan when I was younger, and it was this devotion that planted the seed of my enmity for "America's team." It's the fact that they're often referred to as "America's team" that makes me still hate them. And the fact that Jerry Jones is the owner, that provides some water and sunlight for the seed as well. And also the fact that approximately 72 percent of the players on their roster in the mid-90s were at one point convicted of a felony. Oh, and the fact that Emmitt Smith holds the all-time rushing record even though I could have gained at least 8,000 career rushing yards with that O-line. Emmitt was good, no doubt, but he was no Barry Sanders, and he was no Walter Payton.

So anyways, suffice to say that I've enjoyed the hell out of the Cowboys' 13-year drought without a playoff victory. Can you believe that? Way back in 1996 they beat the Vikings to earn a spot in the NFC Championship game, which they lost to Carolina. Since then, they've been to the playoffs four times and are 0-4. It's beautiful! As far as I'm concerned, they could put a picture of Romo fumbling the extra point snap against the Seahawks in the Louvre. If I were walking around the Louvre and came upon that picture, my eyes would be transfixed and I would probably shed a tear. "It's so ... it's so beautiful." (By the way, it was announced today that Romo will once again be the holder on place kicks, after a three-year layoff.)

And it's beautiful to be a Dallas hater in December. They're 5-11 after December 1 since 2006. And what do we have here? A 31-24 loss to the reeling Giants to kick off the December slate this year, with games coming up against the Chargers and Saints. The seed is strong. It grows. May it blossom.


Was anyone else rooting really, really hard for Nebraska to beat Texas on Saturday so that all hell would break loose in the BCS? We came a last-second field goal from complete chaos.

I love college football, but the fact that there's no playoff system really takes some of the air out of it for me. Every other sport--including Division II and Division III football--has a playoff system, but not the FBS. If Cincinnati beats Florida in the Sugar Bowl, and therefore finishes the season undefeated, in what way is it clear that the winner of the so-called "title game" is in fact better than Cincy? What proof do we have that the winner of the TCU-Boise State game is not better than the winner of the title game?

From a logical standpoint, a playoff system seems rather obvious to me. Many people argue that it's not viable from a financial standpoint. But why not? March Madness, the biggest playoff system in all of sports, is perhaps the most followed postseason in all of professional and college sports. If they held an eight-team playoff this year, the match-ups would look like this:

1 Alabama vs. 8 Ohio State
2 Texas vs. 7 Oregon
3 Cincinnati vs. 6 Boise State
4 TCU vs. 5 Florida

Let's just assume all the favorites would win. That would set up:

1 Alabama vs. 4 TCU
2 Texas vs. 3 Cincinnati

And finally:

1 Alabama vs. 2 Texas

Would you not tune in for most if not all of those games? People are programmed to like playoffs. Win and you go on, lose and you go home. As I said about March Madness earlier in the year, it feels natural. Darwinian. The current system seems contrived and leaves you feeling empty inside.

And keep the sponsors for all I care. Alabama vs. Ohio State can be the Sugar Bowl. Fine. Whatever. Call 'em whatever you want. And they can still play all the other bowl games too. Having a playoff doesn't preclude other games from taking place. Sort of like the NIT in college basketball. It seems impossible to me that they couldn't find a way to make a crapload of money on a playoff system. (Side note: I admit that I don't know how all the logistics would work, i.e. when and where all the games would be played. But I'm confident that someone could figure it out.)

And lastly, I don't accept the argument about someone "getting left out." Someone is always left out. It happens in baseball, football, March Madness (and now they've added that 65th team, who gets to play for the opportunity to get their ass kicked by one of the best teams in the country), and every other sport. Even as it is, someone gets left out. Are Virginia Tech, Penn State and LSU clearly undeserving of a spot in a BCS bowl game?

But I digress. That Nebraska-Texas game almost provided some of the ammunition needed to bring the BCS to its knees. I guess I'll go on hating it for another year.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you got over the 49'ers thing at an early age. And despising "America's team" is a good thing too.