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I've had a bad day.  The special lady friend's affections have cooled.  The novel's going slow.  The arm's still stiff.  And I'm jobbing.  What does that entail, you might wonder.  Basically a few hundred customers over the course of five hours choose between fifteen tacos and I ask them if they want flour or corn with that.  Over.  And over.  And over.  Bill Murray envies me.   

I've done this virtually thousands of times these last six months, and today I received my first complaint, compliments of a woman named, of all things, Ms. Voorhees--to the horror buffs out there, I don't know if she has produced offspring by the name of Jason, but it wouldn't surprise me in the least.  Please, whoever reads this, if you are ever inclined, during COVID, to lodge a formal complaint about any service industry worker, for any reason, take my advice:  find the nearest car going ninety, get in the appropriate lane, and kneel. 

Oh yeah, TCU's basketball team lost to those Bores from Waco.  

And oh double yeah, I have an article due on COVID in sports and haven't an idea what to write.  

And oh triple yeah, I'm still sweating about whether there's a mob of Baylor/Zach Evans/Colin Kaepernick/Mickey Mouse Club fans out for my blood.   

It's just when I'm about to succumb to despair that I receive another telephone communication from the Barry Lewis.

"Hey Tyler," he says, and I'm just waiting to hear it:  PEOPLE THOUGHT YOUR PASS INTERFERENCE ARTICLE, AND YOUR BOWL ARTICLE, NOT TO MENTION YOUR BAYLOR ARTICLE AND ESPECIALLY YOUR TRANSFER PORTAL ARTICLE WERE DUMB--THEY DIDN'T EVEN LIKE THE VOLLEYBALL.  PROBABLY TIME TO LOOK FOR WRITING GIGS ELSEWHERE--I'M SURE A BAYLOR FAN PAGE IS HIRING.  

Instead, the dear magnanimous man says:  "Alabama and Georgia are going to be playing for Natty."  

"I understand," I lie, shamelessly, having no idea who Natty is.

"A repeat of the SEC Championship a month ago.  Bama playing for Natty again."  

This Natty must be some lady!

"Bama vs Georgie for Natty is a repeat from a few years ago." 

Wam-Bam-Thank-You-Ma'am!

"I'm thinking you should write about it." 

"Sure." 

Oh god no!  

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"Like one of the funny ones."  

I breathe a sigh of regrief.  Regrief, a neologism coined by yours truly, is that unmistakable feeling of relief embittered by grief, or grief sweetened by relief, a feeling of pleasure for the past and fear for the future, such as one might experience when a lie has succeeded, prompting the need for dozens (and better) more.  

"All right, I'll get it done tonight." 

"You rock," he says.  

Click.  

And now I am alone in the worst of all possible ways--with my thoughts.  But first thing's first.  Who the hell is Natty?  

Natty is, according to Google, a Thai singer based in South Korea.  She is also the "College Football Playoff National Championship."  And were that particular Natty a woman she would be a monogamist for the SEC--Alabama having touted her trophy fifteen times, Georgia twice, and it would appear, tonight, thrice.  

And there's one thing about Natty:  she doesn't like us.  For that matter, she evidently has a low opinion about all of us in the Big 12, we "little sisters of the poor," as E Gordon Gee (does anyone else hear that name and think G. Gordon Liddy?), then Ohio State president called us.  In context, he had this to say:  "I do know, having been both a Southeastern Conference president and a Big Ten president, that it's like murderer's row ever week . . . " (oh dear Doctor Gee, were you ever to meet the mother after having slandered so our school you would know firsthand what a murderer's row looked like!) " . . . for these schools.  We do not play the Little Sisters of the Poor.  We play very fine schools on any given day." 

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So that's that.  The College Football Playoff National Championship comprises only those schools deemed by the CFP committee worthy of consideration for the College Football Playoff.  Which, naturally, tend to be the same schools.  Over.  And over.  And over.  Fifteen times, for Alabama alone, according to Google.  Seven in the last twenty years.  

Let me ask you, dear Reader:  does one school winning seven National Championships in twenty years strike you as a fair average for a national competition, or more likely something reeking of nepotism?  

Some of us have not forgotten 2014, the year Florida State and Auburn were elected to play for the CFP over TCU.  That we were worthy competitors, as we demonstrated by our victory over Ole Miss (take note, Zach Evans) at the Peach Bowl should be uncontested.  But we weren't in the club.  Despite our remarkable victory over Wisconsin a mere three years earlier. 

In the words of Rodney Dangerfield, "we can't get any respect."   

But that's fine.  Alabama and Georgia can have their Natty.  We at TCU will continue to foster the kinds of teams that the broader American public loves:  teams composed of players who love their school and love the game.  Soon, inevitably, we will develop a team with the skill and passion to win over the hearts and minds of the broader American public, a public who loves a "sister of the poor" who, one day, blossoms into a queen.  As we did at the Rose Bowl, the Peach Bowl, and the Alamo Bowl.  And if we've done it before, we can do it again.  

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As for the CFP committee, relative to your love of a handful of schools chosen over and over, I have one question for you:  do you want corn or flour with that? 

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