Last week, steroids were the worst thing to ever happen in the history of the sports world. Trust me, there was absolutely no hyperbole spewing from the mouths of the sports media gasbags when they were saying this. Never mind there were sandwiching the steroid conversation with talk about a guy who may have killed at least one person. Let’s be honest, it is common knowledge in the sports media world that steroids are definitely worse than murder. The disproportionate amount of coverage given to these topics bears that out.
That was until Philadelphia Eagles’ wide receiver Riley Cooper got caught on video saying the word “nigger.” In one fell swoop, racism became the worst thing ever in the history of the sports world. It was worse than killing somebody, It was worse than the systematic use of illegal drugs. That’s right, a single word became the worst thing in the history of the sports world, and I have a one-word answer for that.
Forget about the ridiculousness inherent in a bunch of reporters blowing a story completely out of proportion; they do that anyway, so it all evens out. Forget about the idea that the systematic use of performance-enhancing drugs has become as issue that threatens to mess up the integrity of just about every sport out there (Has anybody been caught juicing in curling yet?) Forget about the idea that anybody is supposed to believe that the utterance of a single word is worse than that shooting somebody in the back of the head. I’m not even going to get into the utter hypocrisy that if a white guys says “nigger,” he’s instantly somewhere between Adolf Hitler and the guy who changed the formula for Coca-Cola, and a black guy can say it with impunity (such as me exactly 24 words ago). Hell, Stephen A. Smith probably has “nigger” printed on his business card.
If you are a sports fan, you likely watch a lot of ESPN. Unless you spent the last three weeks at your time share on the dark side of the moon, you are nauseatingly aware of the situation embroiling former New England Patriot and current murder suspect Aaron Hernandez. But in the avalanche of the coverage the World Wide Bottom Feeder, there’s some really important stuff the blow-dries in Bristol would prefer you didn’t know. Of course, that is exactly why we here at Dubsism are pointing them out.
1) The only person at fault for what is happening to Aaron Hernandez is Aaron Hernandez
To understand this, you must realize that ESPN is in the business of idealizing athletes, which means nothing can ever be an athlete’s fault. Since ESPN became a cash cow by filling SportsCenter with highlights, the focus of those highlights have to stay as squeaky-clean as possible. Of course, anybody with better than 20/6,000,000 vision and a reasonably functional cerebral cortex knows that’s a pantload of the first order. That’s also happens to be the exact reason why there are millions of sports fans who lap up the swill ESPN puts out. That’s also why the omni-directional sludge pump known as ESPN has been floating the idea that somehow the fact Aaron Hernandez is footballs-deep in a murder investigation is the fault of everybody but Hernandez.
First, this was somehow Bill Belichick’s fault for drafting a guy the Patriots knew had a rail-car full of baggage coming out of the University of Florida. The fact that Hernandez was thug-a-licious all the way back clearly isn’t the fault of Emperor Palp-a-chick. But, right after they tossed that story out there, ESPN realized they’ve been sucking up to Belichick and the Patriots for the better part of the last decade. Then they figured out that convincing America that Bill Belichick was right up there with the guy driving the white Bronco was bad for business. It was at that moment they realized they need to find another scapegoat. Now, that isn’t to say that the Patriots (and specifically owner Robert Kraft) aren’t completely full of shit in the way they’ve handled this, but I will get back to that.
The next stop on the scapegoat train was former Florida coach Urban Meyer. Sure, the Gator coaching staff knew he had a track record. Sure, they knew about plenty of incidents while he was at Florida. So what? Let’s cut through he crap here. Football coaches aren’t in the business of being parole officers, social workers, or nannies. They are in the business of winning football games. There’s a precise term to define football coaches who don’t win games. It’s called “fired.”
The same applies to Belichick. Football is a “what have you done for me lately” world, which means that coaches will recruit, sign, and play Lucifer himself if he can bring wins. You don’t want to admit that, but it’s true. In other words, both Belichick and Meyer knew what they had on their hands – a guy who could help them win football games. Everything wasn’t there problem, because there is just one rule in big-time college football and the NFL. In the immortal rules of Al Davis, “Just Win, Baby.”
There’s a reason for that. The very same fan who is right now contemplating his comment to me about that “athletes are role models” bullshit is the same guy who calls sports radio shows bitching about his team’s coach. The math works like this. Football coaches are under pressure to win, and that pressure comes from fans who are every bit as tolerant of bad behavior as long as they think the bad guy is good with a football. The minute Cam Newton threw for 4,000 yards in the NFL, everybody forgot about his sordid past. O.J. Simpson had a track record of bad behavior all the way back to his community college days in San Francisco. So, before anybody starts shifting the blame for Aaron Hernandez away from Aaron Hernandez, they may want to take a look in the mirror. It’s only a logical extension once you say Hernandez is the result of the action of another individual to then say the actions of those other individuals are the result of the pressure to when exerted by the fans.
Not to mention, if ESPN is reticent to blame the athletes they glorify, there sure as shit aren’t going to blame the viewers they need to stay in business.
2) Aaron Hernandez is not the only bad guy in the sporting world right now
I could run the list of bad guys in sports today from here to the end of the interwebz, but because murder is sensational, and because Hernandez happens to have been associated with one of the flagship franchises in the NFL, this will undoubtedly be one the stories which will consume the sports world for the foreseeable future. But there are all sorts of other stories out there that simply don’t get the coverage. We’ve already forgotten about the Jovan Belcher tragedy in Kansas City, and right now I would bet that 75% of you can’t tell me who Ausar Walcott is. In fact, did you know that 27 NFL players have been arrested since the Super Bowl?
The example which ties this point perfectly with the first one is Ray Lewis. No only were there a ton of football fans who have forgotten Lewis’ involvement in a double-homicide, many of them completely ignored it because Ray delivered on the field. That’s why ESPN hired Lewis, because they know those same fans will tune in football fans together .
To be fair, this isn’t happening only in the NFL. Police blotters are full of college athletes, NBA players, and NHL players. Even today, the news came out the a pitcher for the San Francisco Giants not named Cain or Lincecum was arrested for allegedly being a drunken pervert. But since he’s not a marquee name. and since he doesn’t pitch for the Yankees or the
Red Yankees Red Sox, you haven’t seen his name anywhere other than a slight blurb on ESPN’s crawl.
The point here is we love to be selective with our moral outrage. You can use all the steroids you want, unless you play baseball, in which case you are the moral equivalent of a Nazi cannibal. Being a cheat, a liar, and a thief is perfectly acceptable as you are a politician with the correct affiliation, and you can literally get away with murder if you are a star athlete with a dubious story you can sell to an even more dubious jury. If you doubt that, don’t forget that all it takes to screw the entire judicial system is one misguided Patriots’ who simply will not vote to convict regardless of the evidence presented.
3) The fertilizer value of Robert Kraft’s “We Were Duped” story could end world hunger as we know it
Yeah, I can see it now…another round of attacks coming from the “Tommy Boy and Sully” Patriots fan crowd because I have dared to besmirch the name of Saint Bob. Bring it on. If you can’t handle the truth about Saint Bob, stop reading right now, tune in Boston sports radio and wait for the latest “let’s all blow Bob-fest,” which I think they are currently running about every two hours or so.
I first pointed this out the other day about the bovine scatology kn own as the “Patriot Way.”
It’s really hard to ignore the fact that if the “Patriot Way” wasn’t just a bunch of lip service, guys like Aaron Hernandez would have never worn the Patriot uniform in the first place. I love the fact that I-285 likens the “Patriot Way” to an “Al Davis mantra,” because it really means “Just Win, Baby.” The fact this all comes down to sloganeering is yet another example of how this is really all about image.
Consider that Kraft whole approach to marketing the image of his team died right about the same time Odin Lloyd did. That’s why Kraft’s most recent comments are beyond laughable.
Two days after returning from a vacation in Europe and Israel, Patriots owner Robert Kraft finally broke his silence Monday about Aaron Hernandez’s arrest on a murder charge and subsequent release from the team.
“No one in our organization was aware of any of these kind of connections. If it’s true, I’m just shocked,” Kraft said in his office at Gillette Stadium. “Our whole organization has been duped.”
Kraft, who has owned the Patriots since 1994, said he was “limited” in what he could discuss because of “an ongoing criminal investigation, as well as other potential civil proceedings,” yet spoke to reporters despite being advised not to by his attorneys. It is unclear if the family of Odin Lloyd, the victim in Hernandez’s murder case, will attempt to sue the Patriots.
But Kraft said it “is important that our fan base hear directly from our organization.” Kraft said the team knew Hernandez was “immature,” but didn’t think his off-field activities ever would lead to a murder charge.
So, let’s break that down. Kraft is smart for not wanting to say anything that could fuel a civil case against the Patriots, but the fact he is concerned about that means he knows there is a potential problem here. I’m not a lawyer, and I’m certainly not going to get into what it takes to get sued in this country, but I will say this. You know damn good and well Saint Bob got the word of several lawyers before he said a public word on this matter. If you doubt that, consider the following.
In fact, the Patriots were willing to draft Hernandez because they believed he had owned up to his past. Kraft disclosed a letter Monday that Hernandez sent to the Patriots on April 16, 2010, six days before the NFL draft.
In the letter, addressed to Patriots player personnel director Nick Caserio and written with help from Hernandez’s agents at Athletes First, Hernandez admitted to recreational drug use while at the University of Florida and said he would “willfully” submit to biweekly drug testing during his rookie season if the Patriots were willing to draft him. Hernandez also offered to make a monetary atonement stemming from his $200,000 rookie signing bonus for any failed drug test.
“In addition, I will tie any guaranteed portion of my 2010 compensation to these drug tests and reimburse the team a pro-rata amount for any failed drug test,” Hernandez wrote.
Right there, Kraft’s “Duped” story starts taking on water. I understand this letter only focuses on Hernandez’ alleged history of drug use, but think about it for a minute. If you are the Patriots, and you are considering drafting this player who has a trail of stuff behind him a mile long, and he’s already tacitly admitting there’s credence to the drug concerns, wouldn’t you do a bit of homework on him before you drafted and gave him multiple millions of dollars? Of course you would.
So, when Kraft uses the term “duped,” he is saying one of two things. Either the Patriots simply took Hernandez at his word and ignored everything else, or they simply didn’t do the homework on this guy. If they chose to turn a blind eye to everything other than the drug concerns, then there is no where they can claim they were “duped.” If they didn’t bother to do the due diligence, the can’t claim they were “duped.” Ane they did take the effort to check out Hernandez’ background, they surely didn’t do a very good job of it. In any event, Kraft and the Patriots were not “duped.” They either knew what they were getting and didn’t care, or they didn’t bother to find out.
A Patriots spokesman said he could not say whether the team took Hernandez up on his offer. Most NFL players are drug tested twice per year — once between August and April, and again between April and August — but the Globe reported in 2010 that Hernandez would face additional testing from the league because of marijuana issues he had at Florida.
Several media outlets, including the Globe, have reported that Hernandez failed multiple drug tests during his three seasons at Florida. But before the 2010 draft, Hernandez told teams he had failed just one, and a Florida spokesman told the Globe Monday that “we do not dispute his claims in this regard.”
Kraft said the Patriots felt comfortable drafting Hernandez in the fourth round after receiving this letter, and did not believe he had any other major off-field issues.
“Here’s a guy writing a letter, taking responsibility,” Kraft said. “The only thing I ever heard on Aaron Hernandez was he was very young, immature, and potentially had problems presented in this letter. Never saw signs of anything else.”
Again, there is no way the Patriots can claim they didn’t know about the marijuana issues. But this isn’t about some sort of “marijuana, the killer weed that makes people kill people;” this is about why would you take action on a tacit admission of one set of concerns and ignore the others? All of the stuff coming out of Florida subsequent to Hernandez’ arrest in Massachsetts was all pretty easy stuff for an investigation to find. Police reports can be obtained, court proceedings are public record, and good, old-fashioned knocking on doors and asking a few questions would have dug up a lot of this stuff. It begs the question why that never happened?
Kraft said all he knew about Hernandez is what happened inside the practice facility at Gillette Stadium, and that for three years Hernandez was a model football player. He noted that coach Bill Belichick said that Hernandez had the best training camp of any Patriots player last August, after Hernandez had signed his contract extension.
The fact that Kraft is sticking to “I didn’t know anything” after his statements about playing it all close to the vest because of current and possible legal entanglements are a complete contradiction. If he really doesn’t know anything, then say that and move on. But to say, I don’t know anything, but I can’t comment,” raises red flags, and deservedly so.
“I only know what goes on inside this building. We don’t put private eyes on people,” Kraft said. “When he was in this building, I was never exposed to anything where he was not positive. He was always polite, respectful. Kraft didn’t say whether the team will be less willing in the future to take on players with character risks, but “you can be sure we’ll be looking at our procedures and auditing how we do things.”
Forget about “private eyes.” It wouldn’t have taken Jim Rockford to bird-dog this guy, especially in light of how quickly this stuff surfaced after Hernandez was arrested. But at least we now know which route the Patriots took; they weren’t “duped,” they didn’t do their homework despite the fact they had every reason to do so. They seemingly didn’t even do the same background check one would be subject to trying to get a job at Wal-Mart.
Kraft certainly wishes he had done more research on Hernandez’s off-field activities before giving him the extension last August, but he felt at the time that signing Hernandez to a long-term deal was the best move for the team. Hernandez’s rookie contract was supposed to run through the 2013 season, and the Patriots felt like they could get better value if they had signed him to a long-term deal before he reached free agency.
“If you let the best players go to free agency or get to the last year, you usually pay more,” Kraft said. “It was a business decision. We were paying for performance. He was undervalued his first two years, then we wanted to get him in range.”
Just what performance were they paying for? Take a look at Hernandez’ stats over the past three seasons: He’s only played in 29 of 38 possible games, which means he misses about one game in four. So his durability is questionable. On average, he’s worth about 56 catches a year for about 650 yard and right around 6 touchdowns. Is that really worth 5 years and $37.5 million?
That’s why I think there’s more to this. In a previous piece, I mentioned that “the Patriot Way” was all about image, and I really believe that Robert Kraft so wanted to be seen a s a guy who can rehabilitate wayward youth that he was using Hernandez as a show pony. That’s why the decision was made so quickly, and the efforts to sever the ties were so demonstrable. The Aaron Hernandez story meant more to Robert Kraft than simply having a player get into trouble.
What it all boils down to for Saint Bob is this. You can tell me you didn’t do your homework. You can tell me you saw something in Hernandez that wasn’t there. You can even tell me that you wanted to use the “rehabilitated Hernandez” story as a feather in your tri-cornered Patriot hat.
But don’t tell me you were “duped.”
I’m all in favor of anything that chips away at the dominance the World Wide Bottom-Feeding Four-Letter Network has over the sports world. That’s why I found this press release from the NBC Sports Network so refreshing.
Buoyed by seven of the 10 most-watched NHL games in the network’s history, NBC Sports Network viewership rose 14% in the first quarter compared to first quarter in 2012, according to data released by The Nielsen Company. Additionally NHL programming, including the newly-created Wednesday Night Rivalry games, was up 58% compared to Q1 in 2012, the best start in the network’s history; The Dan Patrick Show viewership is up 58% compared to time period in 2012 Q1; the opening IndyCar telecast rose 78%; and MLS games are up eight percent over last year.
That opening paragraph gives one a brief shot as to what NBC sports Network is doing right; the rest of the release gives some details. We here at Dubsism intend to use those details to offer some suggestions as to how this network can continue it’s growth. Continue reading →
Welcome to a new era in the bullshit to which Dubsism exposes it’s six regular readers. We’ve now entered the video world, and here’s our first video podcast, and as terrible as it may be, it’s a “Neil Armstrong” giant step for this crappy, uncensored, independent sports blog.
The subject of this initial cast is a blog written by fellow Sports Blog Movement member Ryan Meehan in which he broached the topic of homosexuality in sports. While that is a touchy topic, it was a commenter on that post that led to this podcast, which offers a “gut-punch” honest assessment of the entire issue.
Click here to view the entire podcast, but be warned it is a big dose of unvarnished truth…be offended at your own risk.
ICYMI…that’s “in case you missed it” for those of you less hip to internet slang than a 45-year old blogger…
This goal by NHL propsect Alec Rauhauser of Bismarck Century High School was not only a classic “What the fuck was that?” moment, it actually made #2 on ESPN SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays on Wednesday. For those of you that are hard-core hockey fans, this goal might look a wee bit familiar.
I don’t know about you, but to me it sure looks like that sick-ass goal Michigan Wolverine Mike Legg hung on Goldy F. Gopher back in the day. Rauhauser is drawing the attention of pro scouts with his line going into this game of 19 goals, 26 assists, 45 total points, and that goal helped Century beat cross-town Bismarck High 5-4 in overtime.
While that goal was pretty sweet, I can’t like it because far too many years ago, I was a BHS guy. But, then again, I’m hoping this kid was just living a dream; getting a chance in a real game to re-enact a moment every kid does in his back yard. I would think for a hockey player, scoring that Legg goal had to be high on the list. In comparison, my “Sandlot” age friends weren’t hockey players; but playing “pitch and catch” in his back yard, I can’t imagine how many times my best friend Doug threw Strike Three in the bottom of the ninth to win the World Series…and he probably can’t tell you how many times I dropped Strike Three and had to gun down the runner at first…thus saving his perfect game.
Doug is also the witness to my then-infamous “Century Sucks” chant at a state tournament basketball game. Whether it is the NFL or North Dakota high-school sports, fuck the Patriots.
In a world where technology has given every person an outlet for their voice, the Sports Blog Movement seeks to make those voices stronger by giving them an environment where they can draw on those with similar interests in sports so they may maximize each other’s potential and provide a unique source of independent content for the reader.
With that goal in mind, Sports Blog Movement debuted its WordPress page one year ago. In that time, there have been many changes to SBM, yet this site has achieved some major accomplishments in the last twelve months.
- 435 posts
- Over 12, 500 site views and growing
- January 2013 is already SBM’s biggest month in terms of site visits, and it isn’t over yet
- A dedicated roster of regular contributors creating unique and insightful sports commentary
- Sports Blog Movement Exclusive content such as:
Our on-going series for sports and celebrity look-alikes, Sports Doppelgangers
Our sports discussion panel comprised of former NFL place-kickers
Tales of Depression and Sorrow – our breakdown of dysfunctional sports franchises
Here’s hoping you see fit to help Sports Blog Movement enjoy further growth in the coming year. Thanks for being a reader; none of this is possible without you. If you know sports fans who would enjoy informative and entertaining content not available anywhere else, please point them toward SBM. And they if you are an independent sports blogger interested in becoming a part of the most dynamic sports blogging site on the web, contact us at SportsBlogMovement@gmail.com .
Let’s see what the next year can bring!
Every January since this blog was created, we here at Dubsism have given an award for achievements during the previous year in some under-recognized categories in the world of sports. In prior years, the nominations for the awards were done exclusively by an internal committee. This was the first year we allowed nominations from the general public.
Between our committee and our valued readers, we had more quality nominations than we could ever possibly use. Thank you so much for that. When we received an outstanding nomination that proved to be a winner, we made sure to recognize those who submitted it. However, we did also receive nominations on multiple ballots that proved to be winners. If you see a winner that you nominated, and you weren’t credited, just know that you weren’t the only one who had the same idea.
With that, and after careful consideration, here are the winners of the 2012 Dubsy awards.
Signs We Are Near The End Of Civilization: When Tragedy Gets Sports Used As A Pulpit For Failed Politics
Obviously, this piece is being written in the aftermath of the horrific event at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Before I go anywhere with this, I’m going to quote fellow Sports Blog Movement member Patrick Young who really encapsulated this terrible tragedy in relevance to a sports blog as well as I think it can be done.
Like many people, I have been deeply troubled by what happened in Newtown, CT this past Friday. Obviously not as much as the residents of the town, and certainly not nearly as much as the victims’ families, but my heart truly breaks every time I think about that tragedy for more than a second. I have found it difficult to force myself to write about anything as trivial as sports, and writing about the tragedy itself is not something I can accomplish. I simply do not have the words.
To the residents of Newtown, Connecticut, and specifically the victims’ families, you have my unending sympathy. If there was anything I could ever do to help you in this time of grief, I would do it without question. May God grant you peace and understanding.
But unlike Young’s eloquent words, I happen to see a relationship between what happened both in the Jovan Belcher situation and at Sandy Hook because in no time at all, both of them were used by people to advance a political agenda, and sports were used as a conduit to do so.
Having said that, it is time for a disclaimer. The following opinions are those of J-Dub, and do not necessarily reflect those of Patrick Young or any other member of Sports Blog Movement. In other words, if what you are about to read pisses you off, take it up with J-Dub and nobody else.
If you’ve been a regular reader of Dubsism, you know we’ve been a member of the Sports Blog Movement for over a year now. In the last few weeks, we have added several new members, which means SBM is on its way to becomimg your one-stop shop for all the independent sports information you can’t get at one of the big content farms.
This is because the Sports Blog Movement is a consortium of several independent bloggers who cover the world of sports in their own ways. This allows the SBM to offer content unlike what you will find in many other outlets. This also means the strength of the group stems from the collection of talent which forms the SBM.
The Sports Blog Movement is about independent sports bloggers supporting each other in their efforts. As the Movement has grown, it has included some members who aspire to careers in main-stream sports journalism, it has included some members who would like to be bloggers on a professional level, all while remaining true to its genesis as a home for the voice of the everyday sports fan.
Dubsism is proud to be a part of the SBM, and is even prouder still to provide content to such an endeavor. If you are a fan of Dubsism, you will want to consider becoming a follower of SBM. You will get much more of the independent sports content which made you decide to become a follower of Dubsism. You will also get content which will be exclusive to SBM followers. But most importantly, you will discover a whole new source for the independent sports coverage you’ve come to expect.
Without a lot of undue fanfare, I’m just going to get to the reasons…
1) It Exposes The BCS For Being A Complete Sham
This is what happens when you have a half-playoff, half-bullshit system. It’s no secret I am an anti-BCS guy; I’ve devised my own solution to this problem. But since the Dubsism approach involves a) dismatling the current conference system and b) makes complete sense, it will never happen. That means I have precious little options other than to rail against the BCS.
Georgia got a royal screwing, but that didn’t even come from the BCS. That was done by the Sugar Bowl selection committee. Despite coming within a few yards of beating Alabama and landing in the BCS Championship game, Georgia gtes left out of the BCS entirely thanks to the Sugar Bowl’s decision to take Florida; a team that the Bulldogs beat in October. Yeah, that has to suck, but then again, nobody said life was fair.
But let’s say you want to be a hater and blame somebody for all of this. Let’s make sure you are blaming the right people.
First off, don’t start piling on Northern Illinois. The way this thing worked out, either the Huskies or Kent State were going to be in the BCS, and the reasons why really don’t have anything to do with either of those schools other than the fact they won 12 of their 13 games and play the best football they could. The BCS chips fell in their favor not just because held up the end of the bargain they could control, but because a whole lot of other factors pushed Northern Illinois into the BCS picture. Under the rules of the BCS game, Northern Illinois earned their way into the Orange Bowl, and all those who are whining about it didn’t.
First of all, there’s
Our Lady of Money Notre Dame. Nobody had this team ranked above their traditional overrated #20-ish preseason ranking, and lo and behold, this team rode a crushing defense and pedestrian offense to the top of the BCS heap. So, there’s one less BCS slot available, but there’s so much whining about who got left out.
Let’s break that down, shall we? If anybody deserves criticism in this situation, it is the Big East, the Big Ten, and for sure Oklahoma. Again, don’t get me wrong, this is in no way a defense of the BCS, rather it’s a call-out of all those who signed on to the game, lost, and now are bitching about the rules to which they agreed.
Sure, I get the Big East is a joke. That joke got even funnier when it’s eventual champion plunged right out of the rankings from #9 after losses to Syracuse and Connecticut. Hell, had the Cardinals even managed to win one of those games, they would still be ranked ahead of Northern Illinois, thus keeping the Huskies out of the BCS.
The Big Ten didn’t help matters any either. The fact that best team in the B1G was ineligible made a difference you can’t underestimate. Without the NCAA sanctions, Ohio State is certain to be in the BCS Championship game conversation, thus knocking either Notre Dame or Alabama to another BCS game, thus eating up another BCS slot.
Then, there is all the whining around Oklahoma, which is for lack of a better term, complete bullshit. First of all, if Oklahoma helped fuck themselves over by losing to Notre Dame at home. That was the game everybody had circled on their calendars waiting for the Irish bubble to burst, and the fact the Sooner didn’t even bother to show up for that game lit the fuse for the Notre Dame rocket ride to #1. Then, there’s the fact the Sooners sealed their fate by losing to Kansas State at home.
Now, for the fun part. The same people who are pissing and moaning about Oklahoma (who just so happens to be the # 11 team) being left out seem to forget they are blaming the same system that would put the Sooners in the BCS over higher-ranked squads. The fact is that only the BCS’ “two teams per conference” rule kept Georgia, LSU, Texas A&M, and South Carolina out, all of whom were ranked higher than Oklahoma.
The bottom line is this is what you get with such a “neither-nor” system. It’s not the old bowl system, and it’s not a playoff. Rather it’s the worst of both, and you’d better think again if you believe this coming 4-team playoff format is a solution.
Hell, we haven’t even started it yet, and we are arguing over who is tenth.
2) It Royally Pissed Off ESPN
Watching Kirk Herbstreit go full-on Peter Finch from “Network” was absolutely fucking priceless. Seriously, it was literally the highlight of the bowl season watching Herby nearly lose control of his bodily functions over what really shouldn’t be that big of a deal.
As entertaining as it was, its almost equally perplexing. Herby wasn’t the only ESPN-douche going completely apeshit over this; the whole cast of the ESPN BCS Selection special was acting like Northern Illinois had just collectively porked their wives.
Doesn’t the ESPN family realize that they broadcast those mid-week MAC games. Don’t they get that national exposure for the MAC might mean more than 16 people watch those games? I live in the heart of MAC territory, and while it may be a collection of small schools, it still produces competitive, solid-quality football.
In other words, I’m supposed to accept some sort of argument saying Northern Illinois does not deserve the Orange Bowl bid they received, yet will defend the B1G Ten BCS representative being a five-loss team.
Herby, no matter how much table-pounding you do, I’m just not buying. Hating on the Huskies misses a crucial fact.
Frankly, I don’t really care about the already shopworn anti-Huskies arguments. I’ll give you that Oklahoma is a more talented team. I’ll give you that the casual college football fan would rather see Oklahoma in January than some some small school from a second-tier conference. I’ll even give you that Oklahoma has a larger fanbase and therefore draws more national interest.
The question is how much so?
Let’s say we replace Northern Illinois in the Orange Bowl with Oklahoma. Is that a game that really stokes the fires of any football fan that doesn’t have a rooting interest in either of the two teams? ESPN wants you to think so, but both these teams are a decade past their most recent championships.
So, what does Northern Illinois offer? An underdog…America fucking loves an underdog. Rudy, the Bad News Bears, the Jamaican bobsled team…they are all in that special place America has for the “little guy,” and now Northern Illinois is in that class.
In other words, this team now adds a new level of interest, and Herby and the rest of the blow-dries at ESPN have no idea what to make of it. That’s why they are so pissed.
Think about it. In order to cover this successfully, they now have to pick a side of what will be the biggest story of the bowl season. For those who love the “Cinderella” story, they’ve got a new team for which to cheer. For those who are outraged about the Huskies’ inclusion, they now have a team to hate on. That leaves the talking heads’ squarely in the middle, and they hate that more than ear-aches and speeding tickets combined.
The bottom line is that BCS system sucks, and there really has been no better season for pointing that out. But for college football, the Northern Illinois story is pure gold. Love it or hate it, it generates interest, while making ESPN look like a bunch of crybabies.
How is that not a win?