TMG NEWSMAKER OF THE WEEK: Scandal
Did you notice? Wake Forest, Minnesota and Baylor all won their Tuesday bowl games.
As Dana Carvey’s “Church Lady” might say, “Isn’t that special?”
Because that’s just how the big, bad world works sometimes, we tip our dip sticks this week to the engine sludge of college football.
Scandal, we begrudgingly salute thee.
A lot of us Schadenfreuders were openly rooting against Wake, Minny and Waco for the bad news these programs have created in recent weeks and months.
Too bad...for us.
Wake Forest outlasted Temple in the Military Bowl, Minnesota out-defensed Washington State in the Holiday and Baylor blasted Boise in the Cactus.
Save us your sanctimonious outrage tweets. We know the players involved in these games had little or nothing to with nefarious events. We are simply acknowledging the coincidence of these programs all hauling down bowl trophies on the same day.
Oh, include to that mix Army, which is still investigating its possible role in the Wake Forest “Wakeyleak" scandal” that has polluted our seasonal holy waters. Army defeated North Texas on Tuesday in the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl.
Wake Forest, the institution, is only guilty of recruiting and hiring Tommy Elrod, the former Wake Forest player-turned-radio analyst who leaked game plans to the school’s opponents.
As espionage cases go, this isn’t Edward Snowden or even the Rosenbergs, but Elrod offers a sinister face to a fundamental fabric of competitive sports: is it on the up-and-up? Nothing will decay a sporting concept faster than the idea that it is compromised, or rigged. So this is serious business, maybe more serious for the schools—Hello Louisville—that accepted inside information from Elrod and didn’t report it.
Minnesota sullied our faith in humanity when its players contemplated a boycott of the Holiday Bowl to stand behind 10 players who have been suspended for their possible role in an alleged sexual assault on campus in September.
It was like holding a rally in favor of the clubbing of baby seals. Minnesota called off the protest and played in the Holiday Bowl. In fact, to our dismay, Minnesota played great.
Baylor, the sordid-behavior kings of college football 2016, capped the day with a thorough beat-down of Boise State in the Cactus Bowl. Baylor’s systemic story of sexual assault has sadly dominated, stem to stern, this season. But that didn’t stop the Bears from looking terrific in victory against Boise State?
What sort of life lessons are we supposed to draw for all this?
The lesson is: you can’t always get what you want. Sometimes the “bad” stories win.
For this we honor and dishonor Wake Forest, Minnesota and Baylor as TMG’s newsmakers of the week.