As our resident college football guy, it seems only fair that I write something about tonight’s BCS Championship game. That said…
No, I have no idea why the world hates us...
This game is going to be terrible, you guys. This is not similar to baseball, where you can watch two pitchers stare down the opposing lineup and carve through them, confound them through power or pitch selection with one eventually getting the lucky run he needs to claim the win. Those low-scoring games have a beautiful cadence, the ability to make you whisper to yourself in awe. Low scoring games in football are a cacophony of forgetful moments, of two-yard toss plays, balls landing at the feet of receivers, moments where you have to suffer through words that should never be placed next to each other, like “punt strategy.” This game will be filled with plays that will make you press the fast forward button on your remote, only to remember that this isn’t your DVR.
These games can be saved only if you find yourself a fan of either team participating, or if you’re a sportswriter pushing retirement age who can spin poetic about the “tradition” of these schools, talking about players that have long since passed on, telling us about the “glory days” of college football when you know full well the games sucked then, but we weren’t alive and therefore can’t correct you. It is lazy, and there is nothing more the vast majority of seasoned sportswriters love more than lazy, than a storyline that allows them to stroll into their archives, pick out an article from 1978 and simply run a “find and replace” to create an article for 2013.
Tonight, be prepared to hear the word “classic” when it doesn’t apply, prepare to hear the word “tradition” to refer to schools that have recently shown their tradition to be either poisoned or perpetrated on fraud and deceit. Prepare to talked to as if you would have to be a fool not to love a game predicated on whose kicker has the longest range. Prepare to feel the strong desire to watch something else or go to bed before the game is over. My advice would be to follow those desires.
Several weeks ago I as mulling over the idea of systematically taking down both of these institutions as representing at its very core what is wrong with college football. I imagined a profound post, with thousands more words than usual, analyzing the cultural impact of college football in this country and what it does to make administrators act in morally repulsive ways, placing their students in danger, admitting criminals and the academically deficient in order to fill their coffers and consolidate their power in a world where a couple losing seasons can mean the unemployment line. Just a year ago the media told us that we could no longer hold any program out as an example of good; we were told that no longer could schools be said to be “doing it the right way,” or achieving “victory with honor.”
As this post was written this morning, you will be able to distinctly tell when in the course of writing it, the Bills head coach became the Bills former head coach. The first paragraph may have already been proven wrong but Ralph Wilson still sucks so I am leaving the intro unchanged. Thank goodness it didn't actually happen this way....
While the national media continues to make mistakes by assuming the Buffalo Bills are run like a professional franchise and #BerlsMafia start making their travel plans to New York City for Super Bowl XLVIII, I’m bringing you part two of my college football bowl “preview.” Trust me, this is much more palatable than digesting the fact that as less inept coaches are getting the ax, we likely have to wait for Chan and Buddy to take a carriage ride to suburban Detroit and throw themselves at the feet of Ralph Wilson like they’re fucking Catherine of Aragon begging for acceptance from their pathetic master. Because three seasons of futility aren’t enough and Ralph’s galaxy sized ego needs to look them in the eye and pass judgment upon his subjects only after seeing them tremble before him first. I hate this decrepit fool, this conniving snake oil salesman from the Mr. Burns school of the cartoonishly evil, feebly attempting to protect both his assets and his image while failing at both. He’s a villain from a Dickens novel, not a fucking hall-of-famer, but I digress.
It's Ralph, not "Mr. Wilson"
There’s four bowls this New Year’s Eve so I’m going to jump right into the games so this post can go up before they start. Also, I feel New Year’s Eve should be a day off in most offices. After all, those who took holiday vacations shouldn’t have to rush back or use a day off, and everyone’s looking ahead to filling their gullet with shrimp and champagne and spending the entire next day nursing a hangover. For The Outlander, I’m bypassing the usual house party for Hibachi and Elmwood. This is a delicate dance; I’m used to kissing the year goodbye by getting blacked out in front of friends, not complete strangers but I feel there will be enough fighting bros and crying drunk girls to make me less concerned about myself. On to the games!
With the Bills lease finally signed and the team likely here in Orchard Park for at least the next six years, subject to a penalty nearing half a billion dollars if they decide to leave beforehand, I feel it is time for us to acknowledge something the Bills have gotten right…
Did you actually think I was going to come out of my exile to talk about the lease? Fuck that noise. Christ, with the NHL CBA there’s enough idiocy taking place in my sports world between douchebags in suits, and there’s no need to address what local politicians and taints like Russ Brandon will present to the public as some wonderful holiday gift. First off, if the NHL didn’t have its head so far up its ass, we would have forgotten about the Bills a month ago. The powers that be have just enough idiots yammering in their ear how important the Bills are to this community when as I’ve said
, they’ve become nothing but a weight dragging our region’s resurgence down. Did anyone think they were going to move in May? No. So don’t present the certification of that fact like you’re signing the fucking START treaty. Now look, I’ve gone and broken my promise and talked about the lease.
One of the better things of the next few weeks is that if you randomly turn your television to ESPN, there is a high probability of you catching a football game. Football that doesn’t involve the Bills is the best. I watched Old Dominion and Georgia Southern in the FCS playoffs a couple weeks ago and loved it. I kept watching this kid from ODU make throws that Ryan Fitzpatrick couldn’t make throwing against air. Fitz sucks at football, but he makes watching other people play football immensely more enjoyable. So for what’s left of 2012, I steer you towards the slate of annual bowl games with stupid sponsors, played in half-full stadiums.
Also, I know very little about these teams and my insight will likely have nothing to do with players or predictions. Part two will come next week, and I’m also not addressing the national championship until we’re closer to game time (hint, both teams should be set adrift from the Greenland ice Sheet). Read on at your own peril.
With the NHL unable to get their shit together, a time normally dedicated to debating the Sabres lines and going on an NHL ’13 binge must be allocated elsewhere. With plenty of the deeg covering the comedy of errors that is the Buffalo Bills, I’ve decided to offer you something almost as good: a weekly column dedicated to previewing the week’s college football games. It’s almost as good in the way that college football is almost as good as the NFL. Adjust your expectations accordingly.
I don’t think many of you have heard, but my college football team
and alma mater has had quite a crazy ten months and finds themselves the joke of Division I-A ball (I’m never calling it the FBS). In a way writing this column is half torture, half-therapy; kind of like someone who got his heart stomped on writing a dating column. That said I take this in stride. I love college football, in a way that many WNY’ers seem unwilling to, so I may be the perfect guy for the job, although I know far less than some of you, so this may seem rudimentary. If you think this sucks, I will return to my lair until the NHL comes back and I can return to trolling TBN columnists and showing up at press events. Seriously, NHL, get your shit together.
Whenever You're Ready, Assholes.
CFL Game of the Week
Yes, I’m starting you off with a curve ball. NBCSN has been televising CFL for a month or two and I gotta tell you- it’s the fucking tops. First of all, they simulcast the TSN feed and as any hockey fan knows, TSN is the biggest TV cocktease on the continent. You’re trying to tell me that if I lived ten miles away, I would be able to watch old Canada Cup games, hours of NHL highlights, all the World Junior games, and full draft coverage? Instead we get Skip Bayless and Around the Horn
. Apparently the typical American fan wants Tebow and Heat coverage, and that’s why the typical American fan is a pile of hot garbage. If I had to live in Canada, TSN would almost make it worth spending forty bucks on a case of Molson.
The best football game I saw all week was CFL (Calgary v. Edmonton). A buddy and I picked a team, wagered ten bucks, and proceeded to watch the following:
-A touchdown pass on a botched field goal hold to end the first half
-A quarterback who spent four years on the Seahawks…as a Safety.
-One team almost erase a nine point deficit with three minutes left.
-A game-winning field goal attempt clang off the upright as time expired.
What entertainment! Unfortunately NBCSN isn’t televising any more CFL games until next month because they need to air IndyCar racing. I NEED MY FIX OF YOUR SILLY ONE-POINT TOUCHBACKS.Rutgers at South Florida
- Thursday, 7:30pm ESPN
Friends don’t let friends cheer for Tampa teams. This game is taking place in Raymond James Stadium, and since the Bucs can barely drag fifty thousand of these pretentious, overtan jackasses to a pro football game, I’m sure USF’s cheering section will consist of five shitfaced bros in Hawaiian shirts that got lost looking for Margaritaville. Also, does anyone consider Tampa “south” Florida? It’s like people that call Poughkeepsie “upstate” New York. I hate you. Read a fucking map for once. Oh and Sonic sucks too.Wake Forest at (5) Florida State
- Saturday, Noon ESPN
I suppose I should still be bitter at Florida State for bouncing my other alma mater
from the NCAA tournament, but they didn’t make the decision to take the ball out of Nicholson’s hands on the last possession. Also, FSU’s recent shittiness has made me warm to them. I used to hate the place when they had Peter Warrick, Charlie Ward and company, but now I can see myself rooting for them to be the team that takes the championship away from the SEC. Also, you have to respect the most racist mascot in all of sports.