Monday, September 5, 2011

Reflections of the way life used to be (or really, just reflections on college football, week 1)

I look forward to few things as much as I do the beginning of a new college football season. The excitement, the expectations, the knowledge that I'll be tailgating in my apartment complex's parking lot all year is matched only by my enthusiasm for a new episode of "Sid The Science Kid" showing up on Netflix's instant streaming service.

My kid LOVES that show and Netflix only has 13 episodes, which I've subconsciously committed to memory. I fear it's payback for making my parents watch the awful Dinosaurs show on ABC that inexplicably lasted for three years in the early 90s. Karma is, indeed, a b*tch.

So with a new season kicking off (a phrase writers and would-be writers are legally required to use to signify the beginning of any football season or face banishment to writing stories on Dancing With The Stars (Your definition of "Star" may vary), or The Real Housewives of Burgaw, North Carolina) I figured now is as good a time as any to give my thoughts on Week 1 of the season. Actually, it's probably the best time. Doing it after Week 8 would be practically pointless. This will not be a weekly thing. Don't worry, non-sports fans, this won't be turning into a sports-focused blog. Granted, with the sporadic writing output I do now, calling this a blog at all is insulting to those who actually write regularly.

The Good: 
Victory was theirs.
Georgia Southern - My alma mater opened the 2011 season with a 31-17 win over Samford (Alabama) Saturday night. As you might imagine, this game was not televised, leading me to follow the game on Twitter. My wife still refuses to join the revolution. So on one hand, I felt like I shouldn't give her updates I'd received from Twitter. On the other hand, I really didn't want to do anything that may diminish the excitement she showed for college football beginning, which was at an all-time high.

Baylor/TCU - If you missed this game Friday night, you missed one of the most fun games that'll be played all season. Baylor, a school best known for not being good at football, had a 47-23 lead before TCU, a team riding a 25-game regular season winning streak and defending Rose Bowl champions, staged a furious come back to take a 48-47 lead. Baylor, in what can only be described as an unBaylor-like response, drove down the field in the closing minutes to kick a game-winning field goal. If there's a better football game this year, it'll be a fantastic season. And I can confidently say there will not be an NFL game that will come close to matching that game in terms of entertainment, excitement and some other "E" word I need to complete the "Words Starting With E" trifecta in that sentence. I'm not sure I'm prepared to live in a world in which Baylor football doesn't suck. If we let that happen, the terrorists have won.

The Bad:
Because we need
all the information
LSU/Oregon - As exciting as Baylor/TCU was, the marquee match-up of the weekend was almost as boring. Granted, the expectations for a game featuring teams ranked three and four were high, but the game failed to come close to living up to what I'd hoped for.

Part of the problem with the game is the rankings themselves. The fact that people can vote on which team is the best without any games being played seems like a flawed system. It's like voting for Miss America before the swimsuit competition, you can do it, but you don't have all the relevant information. And if you are cynical enough to believe the only reason I used that analogy was as an excuse to post a Miss America contestant in a swimsuit, your cynicism will be rewarded.

University of Georgia Fans - Not all of them, just the vocal ones already calling for the firing of the entire coaching staff, the band director, the equipment manager, the guy in the Hairy Dog mascot suit and the euthanizing of UGA because the Bulldogs lost to Boise State. Look, if you want the coach fired after one game, then you likely wanted him fired before the season started. That's fine. But if you believe your coach was a bad one before the season started, then you probably had low expectations for the season to begin with, so a loss to a top-five (albeit flawed ranking system) team shouldn't come as much of a surprise to you. Also, if you're posting on facebook or twitter for a coach or assistant to be fired, you should be required to also offer a suggestion as to who should be hired to replace them. It's easy to say "fire the coach, he sucks." It's a bit more difficult to say "we should replace Coach X with Coach Y." My brother wanted Georgia's Mark Richt fired last season. Every time I asked him who would be better, he couldn't come up with a viable name that might legitimately come to Athens.

The Ugly: 
All the blowouts - Week one is often a chance for the Big Schools to beat up on Little Sisters of the Poor Tech (Go Fightin' Barbies). For every Appalachian State upset over Michigan, there are dozens of Appalachian State getting absolutely destroyed by Virginia Tech. I know Little Sisters of the Poor Tech gets a nice chunk of change from the Big Schools to be a sacrificial lamb while the Big Schools get a win and the alumni get to feel good starting the season on a winning note (I think that note is a B-major chord).

Sorry visitors from planet Zygofrom
your Dezelbob's weren't fast enough
Georgia's Uniforms - The only good thing I can say about them is those uniforms will confuse the first aliens to arrive here into thinking another alien race already beat them to Earth.

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