Tuesday, January 09, 2007

American Civilzation

Bear with me – this will look like it’s about sports, but it’s more of an observation of what I believe is a piece of the American culture and ethic. And one that I don’t share, and don’t like.

First things first – I’m not a football fan, and I’m certainly not a college football fan. So I put myself into a category there, and – at least as far as my distaste for the NFL – I think I place myself in the minority.

I am against a College Football Playoff.

For those who are unaware, in American college football, the boys have been playing for over 100 years. Somewhere along the way, pundits of one stripe or another gathered together and took a poll of the best football club in the land. Over time this poll multiplied; there were polls. The polls were then published weekly during the season, with a year-end poll declaring the “national champion.” All unofficial, of course.

This “system” was in place, and worked, for about seventy years. But somewhere in the seventies, and then particularly in the 80s, the system was perceived to be “broken” and, notably, was held to be unfair. You see, sometimes there were disputes about who was No. 1.

But the “moneygrubbing bastards” of college football types wouldn’t “allow” us to have a playoff to “indisputably” establish a national champion. these bastards were advocates of the “bowl” system [ad hoc invitations by “bowl games” – especially staged sporting contests in various cities – to various teams at the end of each season, generating great enthusiasm from boosters and fans, who traveled to strange cities for these Herculean contests]. The bowl system generates a lot of money, and cities (and now sponsors) have vested interests in perpetuating the bowl system.

We’ve now got a weird hubrid, with polls and computers determining that certain teams will get into certain “extra special” bowls, leading to a “national champion.” But there are still great debates about the fairness of the system, and ,. . . . blah blah fucking blah.

Why do we need to declare a national champion?

What is it in our culture that requires us to (a) think that we can have a “fair” system, without human elements and flaws, in order to think we can (b) determine and corwn a national champion. The Number One that vanquished all of the others and is the best.?

I think it is totally fucked up and, if it weren’t irrrrrrelevant, I’d find it more than troubling.

The response I hear most frequently when this is debated [and trust me, though of little interest in this forum, it generates heatedCollege X defeated Colleges Y, Z, and F, but was vanquished by cross-state rival “em>College G..

Although I don’t like the game, I am interested in rivalries like Ohio State – Michigan, and Auburn – Alabama. those games would matter more if – the GAMES MATTERED MORE. Not as stepping stones to some mythical important crowning, but as the contests that they are.

Can anyone tell me why I wrote this?

And why we now crown a weekly “champion” movie, as if it were a contest? [and yes, I know that the competition of commerce is similar to a contest. but, of course, it isn’t a contest. But I digress even more . . . .]

And is that Don on the phone?


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