James Carville: There's nothing you can do or say to spin the BCS
As you've probably heard, the Bowl Championship Series has hired
This is all well and good but, judging by the public reaction -- do a Twitter search or go Googling if you dare -- it's not going to cut it. Now, I know Fleischer must be a pretty creative guy -- insert your own political joke here -- but he's got his work cut out for him on this one, and I can only imagine what's to come. Infomercials? BCS Happy Meals? Attention-grabbing slogans ("E-bowl-a Fever: Catch it Now!")?
Still, history tells us it's possible to spin the seemingly unspinnable. After all, it was p.r. gurus like Fleischer who helped resurrect the career of
To date I've only seen Fleischer do one interview, with
So instead I placed a call to Fleischer's counterpart (of sorts),
I began by gauging Carville's willingness to defend a variety of image-impaired sports entities, peppering him with questions. And to his credit, Carville somehow saw at least a glimmer of hope for each.
The DH? It extends careers, allowing great sluggers to play longer, he said. In other words: no DH, no
On we went, through
Until, that is, we came to the BCS. "The Bee Cee Ay-essss?" he said, and the great flack was silent for a moment. Then, as if preparing to battle a formidable opponent in the primaries, he began sizing up the obstacles. First up: public sentiment. "If you said we're going to take away the World Series, there'd be a literal riot among sports fans," Carville said. "But suppose that they said this year we're not going to have a BCS game. People would be
Next up: the structure. "Sports fans are smart and they understand the idea of the BCS is inherently uncompetitive," Carville continued. "None of these other things like the DH hamper competition. But college football players are incapable of determining their own sport's champion. It's the only sport in the world that does that. How am I supposed to promote that?"
Then there's the name: "It's a sh---- one," he said. And, finally, the biggest stumbling block as Carville saw it: motive. "The only reason the BCS exists is that they're scared that if they change it, they'll lose money. And they're unable to say what the truth is, so they're constantly coming up with other, phony reasons."
Mulling all this, Carville finally came to a conclusion. "If I were advising the BCS, here's what I'd say," he said, pausing for emphasis. "There is a very famous story about when
In other words, good luck Ari. We're all pulling for you (to fail).