Thursday, June 2, 2011

Keeping the GL in glasshouses

This is sort of awkward since my Alma mater, Rutgers, has (at best) a spotty Big Time College Football Resume. Yes, we played the very first college football game back in the day against the tigers of Princeton, and no I wasn't there. And then there are decades, lots of decades, with not a whole lot going on (and in all honesty, I don't care and I didn't when I was an undergrad and am even less interested now). Something about sin, stones and throwing....

Where I live now, UCONN football has a single digit history in years as a Division I (football) school. The Huskies men's baseball team is headed to the NCAA Tournament, again, but our Nutmeg hearts beat a little faster for our college basketball heroes and heroines. So much so that we tend to look away when one of the team's head coaches provokes the NCAA into giving him their undivided attention. I'm not sure, but I believe both the men's and women's teams' head coaches make more money than anyone else at the University of Connecticut-and we, the fans, wouldn't want it any other way.

All of which is my attempted preface at a drive-by on a guy about whom I know very little, Jim Tressel, the suddenly former head football coach at Ohio State University. I'm not going to waste your time or mine in recounting or commenting on what went on/didn't go on under his watch in terms of violations of NCAA rules (sort of like Fight Club, I suspect). Just the other night taking my U-verse TV menu out for a spin, I came across one of the 148 ESPN channels I now receive with a re-broadcast on the SMU football program's death penalty in the late eighties (I think).

Lots of the same 'we didn't do anything nobody else didn't do' defense, which is a variant of the 'you let Johnny Finnegan jump off the bridge so how come I can't?' argument which I so enjoy. Always seems to come down to a question of 'if a booster buys a scholarship kid a dinner, does the kid gain any weight?' The answer: only if a Sports Illustrated reporter hears about it. I'm wondering if E. Gordon will say anything other than 'gee...' (I think not.)

In much the same way as we blame the weatherman for the snowy, muggy, rainy, whatever weather, the folks caught with their hands in the cookie jar blame the people who turned on the light in the kitchen. I think it would be easier if they filed a class action suit against the cookies, but I have to ask my brother, who not only studied law and passed the bar exam, but who also stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

When, not if, they make sanctimonious hand-wringing an Olympic event, we'll see the entire BCS Selection committee at the medals podium arguing over whose conference anthem should be played first. This will be followed by a panel discussion by coaches and more especially by university presidents arguing about the difference between winning at any price and the cost of victory though none of them will understand the distinction between the two. I cannot imagine which ESPN channel will be carrying that live, but I'm pretty sure I'll be able to watch it on my TV. The why, however, is another matter entirely.
-bill kenny

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