Do you know the second line to On Wisconsin? On which
septuagenarian coach's site can you hear the strains of Pearl
Jam? Who let the dogs out down in Mississippi? The following
college football sites provide the answers to these questions
This All-America-worthy site is a comprehensive complement to a
Saturday spent watching games on TV. (Or listening to them; the
site links you to team broadcasts.) To keep you current, the
righthand margin has a scrolling scoreboard. The encyclopedic
"Facts & Figures" section provides links to school pages that
contain season-by-season records and fight-song lyrics. ("On
Wisconsin, On Wisconsin/Plunge right through that line!") A
history section includes a college football time line, brief
recaps of 10 storied rivalries and thumbnail sketches of more
than 150 notable players, from Agase to Zorich.
On his lively, bountiful site, Penn State's 71-year-old coach
Joe Paterno has recruited some of his high-profile peers to
diagram plays and discuss strategy. West Virginia coach Don
Nehlen, for instance, gives you video of his team's 50 Pop
Strike Blitz, while, to the accompaniment of Pearl Jam's Alive,
Washington's Rick Neuheisel narrates Colorado's 1994
game-winning Hail Mary pass at Michigan. (Neuheisel was a
Buffaloes assistant at the time.) Some of the links, such as the
"Coffee Shop" chat room, are available only to those who pay the
$22 annual membership fee. Twenty-two bucks for a cup of JoePa?
That tariff is steeper than the 3-5 Nittany Lions' slide this
Fred Smoot has "4.4 40 speed and 4.1 mouth speed." So says this
funny and unauthorized site that exalts Mississippi State's star
cornerback. Log on and hear the Baha Men posing the ubiquitous
musical question "Who let the dawgs out?" Various Starkville
icons, including Smoot (number 2 above, defending against
Auburn's Reggie Worthy) and Bulldogs coach Jackie Sherrill.
respond (through computer-manipulated photos), "Smoot! Smoot!"
You'll also get a compendium of the brash Smoot's quotes ("The
Smack") about his foes, as well as this warning: "Do not operate
heavy equipment, drive a car, or have a full mouth of
food/beverage while viewing this website." We agree.
An NFL Films special equates the gridiron and the hustings
If George W. Bush were a quarterback, NBC political pundit Tim
Russert tells interviewer (and NFL Films president) Steve Sabol
during the one-hour, two-part ESPN special Politics & Football,
he would be Kenny Stabler. "He has a little bit of the buccaneer
in him," says Russert. "I'm not going to say that he has a little
Snake in him," Russert adds, referring to the nickname of the
Raiders' All-Pro of the 1970s. "That might get me in trouble."
The notion that the Republican presidential candidate would be a
lefthanded, left-coast quarterback is open to debate. So are
most attempts to marry pigskin and pork barrels, as Politics &
Football pithily demonstrates. Part I will be telecast on Monday
at 2:30 a.m. and repeated at 4 p.m., and Part II will be shown
at the same times on Nov. 13. Sabol, who for the first episode
sat down for chats with Russert and conservative talk-show host
Rush Limbaugh, was inspired to create this special after reading
an old Whittier College game program. "I came across a photo of
Richard Nixon, who played line there," says Sabol. "The more
research we did, the more we saw how politics and football
gravitate toward each other."
In Part I, for example, Limbaugh notes that both are contact
sports. "Politics is smashmouth," says Limbaugh, whose first name
is the very personification of a conservative offense. "You're
trying to pummel your opponent into the ground."
Only afterward do you worry about health-care reform. --J.W.