Parting thoughts on two men who loomed large over this season
Wes Byrum's 19-yard field goal bisected the uprights, the final second disappeared off the clock ... and another clock started ticking. No, I'm not referring to the countdown to
Two-and-a-half days, it turned out. "This decision was difficult for me and my family," said the Heisman winner on Thursday. And yet, they didn't anguish over it for long, did they?
I'll miss Newton, who played with incredible passion and joie de vivre. (You'd think at least some of that might've rubbed off on Gene Chizik. Oh well.) I admired the robust bond he cultivated between himself and Tiger Nation -- the blown kisses, the towel-waving, the postgame forays into the stands. Calculated or not, it was smart. No matter what the national media had to say about Newton and his father, Auburn partisans had his back.
This is clearly a bright kid; he mastered Gus Malzahn's offense in one season. So it requires a Snake River Canyonesque leap of faith to believe that he had no clue -- none whatsoever -- that his father was out there hawking him like Jerry Maguire.
Of course, if Cam did know, and got over on the NCAA, I won't find myself hyperventilating with indignation. In this country, where we worship the "forces of the free market," it's a joke that players don't get paid. They're sweating and bleeding and risking permanent injury to keep their athletic departments solvent. Yes, they get tuition, room and board -- but the services they provide are worth incalculably more. (Two years ago, the SEC signed a 15-year, multi-sport contract with ESPN for ... $2 billion. That's just one network.)
So when we come to find out that some kid, or his old man, had his hand out before signing his Letter of Intent, I don't salute it. But I understand it. It registers well down on my personal scale of moral outrage -- far below, for instance,
Why, playoff proponents? Why would you choose to imprison these student-athletes, to deprive them of the only chance they'll ever get to experience Hawaii, or the Big Apple?
College football's national champion must never be decided on the field, by Hancock's logic, because the game's true purpose is to provide mediocre teams the opportunity to go on extended field trips.
Why are you opposed to civil rights, playoff proponents? What do you have against veterans and sick children?
I love this passage. It's so wonderfully patronizing. No need for you to think this through -- leave that to your "wiser" elders. Here's a $500 gift card. Now run along.
Keepers of the game? Is that what we're calling them? True, they are obstructing the path to a playoff, and thwarting the will of a vast majority of Americans, in order to keep the lion's share of the money for themselves. They are stewards -- of their own self-interest.
Hancock's biggest problem is that his speech is based on what is very likely a false premise. The seventh chapter of
Here's something else that will last a really long time: the question of how the Horned Frogs might have fared against Auburn. No amount of Hancock's treacle can conceal this fact: TCU was a national championship-caliber team that didn't get the chance to play for a national championship.
There aren't 100 bowls?