Emails in on OU-BYU parking & playoff
The new emails are in, and my week of vacation brought a span-the-globe array of dispatches.
Bob wrote about the OU-BYU game in Arlington: “I can’t believe that Jerry (Show Me the Money) Jones is not opening his parking lots for the OU-BYU game until 1 p.m. And the Rangers have an agreement not to open theirs before he opens his. This could have been a tremendous payday for the Arlington hotels if he had opened them by 9 or 10 a.m., cause lots of folks who travel four or five will now come down the day of the game instead of the day before. Jones talks big about catering to tailgaters, but I doubt if he ever has tailgated.
Well, 1 p.m. seems plenty early to me. Eight hours before kickoff in a parking lot seems a long time to me. How do you get the ladies in your life to commit to nine hours with only a port-a-potty on hand? By george I think we’ve got it – if Jones will think of pay toilets, he’ll open the lots at dawn.
Shannon wrote about the tireless subject of a college football playoff: “The other day on a Yankee broadcast, Jim Kaat reflected on the creation of the DH. The big concern from the players was voiced by middle relief pitchers. It seemed at that time that starting pitchers were primarily pulled in a pitch-hitting situation late in the game. If managers no longer had to worry about pitchers hitting in a late game clutch spot, why would they ever pull starters except for closers? Wouldn’t middle relief pitchers be forced out of the game and replaced by offensive players on the major league roster? Of course, while the logic seemed solid, we now know the advent of the DH created a more formidable batting order. And in turn to the earlier departure of the starting pitcher. Thus, a greater need for middle relief. Now, the lack of a playoff system in college football. What would happen to fan interest in the early part of the season? ‘Preseason’ games would no longer be important. I say not so fast my friend. I will leave the details to those who can work them out – and there are many who can. As long as entry into the playoff bracket is based on winning your conference, the preseason can now be about developing your team. Out of conference matchups can be about playing your peers. OU could play Michigan, Tennessee, and USC without fear of ruining their national championship chances. What fan would not love that? Ratings would soar. And now there is a greater relevance placed on conference games for the teams which would have been eliminated under the current system but are still playing for a conference title game berth. And thus the opportunity to earn their way into the playoff bracket. Two-loss Colorado vs. one-loss Nebraska now has national significance.”
Everything Shannon said is true. Except the elephant in the living room. No way will a playoff include only conference winners. The Texases and Oklahomas and Alabamas will not allow it. They are not going to allow a playoff in which the Conference USA champ gets in and they might get left out. Which means wild cards come into play, which means posturing and polls come back into play, and the regular season becomes even more meaningless.
Joe wrote about Brett Favre: “How can people give Favre so much hell? Who wouldn’t take the money and run? I’m 56 and for $12.5 million, I’d take somebody’s best shot (he’d have to get grass stains to hit me in the head). If they want him and he wants to try and the fans evidently want to buy tickets to see him and his teammates, say ‘come on’ and then screw everybody else. $12.5 million will buy a nice wheelchair or nurse or whatever you need, and in the NFL a 22-year-old is just as apt to need those things. I’m not a Favre fan, but he hasn’t killed anyone or any dogs or done any of that stuff, yet he’s put all that stuff on the back pages (Vick says thank God for Favre) and yet he’s catching as much crap for the sin of changing his mind again. That’s worse than DUIs and dog fighting and drugs and steroids?? Geez.”
Well, I don’t hear all that much criticism about Favre. Anyone who didn’t see this coming wasn’t paying attention. Favre was playing the oldest dodge in the NFL book; avoiding training camp. And can we forget $12.5 million. This doesn’t have anything to do with money. Brett Favre is not coming back for money. He’s coming back for the roar of the crowd and the feeling he gets on Sundays. The criticism should be – and is, I believe – placed on the Vikes, who are taking a flier on a 40-year-old quarterback, which is an indictment of their organization and shows how shaky their Super Bowl hopes really are.
James wrote about the preseason polls: “After reading Jake Trotter’s article on being No. 2, I did a quick look and found the loser of the BCS title game has not finished No. 2 either of the polls. This was only searched back to 2002. My question to you is, looking at the preseason poll for this year, what type of scenario would it take for the prediction to become reality? Obviously, Florida would have to win the BCS to be No. 1, but neither Texas or OU could be the loser because the loser never finishes No. 2. How would Texas and OU finish 2 and 3? What bowls and how would they get there?”
Well, I think the whole premise is flawed. In 2002, Miami finished No. 2 after losing the BCS title game; USC did the same in 2005 and Ohio State in 2006. And let’s say OU or Texas wins their grudge match in a great game, then loses to Florida in the BCS championship, it’s not kooky to think OU or Texas would be No. 2. But we’re off base. The preseason poll is not a prediction of the final poll. It’s an estimate on where the teams are. If anything, I would say it’s a prediction of the polls going into the bowls.
Some readers commented on my blog item in which I suggested Jermaine Gresham could hurt his draft status if he keeps up his relatively-harmless, but goofy actions, like getting arrested for failure to pay a seat-belt ticket and yelling shoutouts to Michael Vick. Greg: “Gresham is bordering on being the punk some of us have been afraid he is since he rose to stardom. Are seat belt fines and shoutouts to Michael Vick wrong? Of course not, in the technical sense, but as you so correctly indicate, a hint to the NFL ‘I am a punk and I could be an attitude problem like the nutcase Shockey.’ Is it in the water down in southern Oklahoma? But rather than a blog item or newspaper article, why not a comment off camera, without recorder or tablet, with Bullet Bob or Kevin Wilson. Coming from the coach, not you, probably scores the hit Jermaine needs. I am afraid calling him out in the newspaper will only make him more bull-headed. If he thinks the press in nice little downhome OKC is tough, Jermaine should consider what it might be like, in say, Philadelphia. His conduct concerns me; maybe not outright clues, but harbingers of something negative.”
Frankly, I don’t have the time to set up a counseling service. I’ll bet the coaches have it well-covered. I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing if they have talked to Gresham. Bad is bad. But if they have talked to him and it’s still not getting through…
Chris thought differently: “In order to get a response out of me as I mature, some buttons must be pushed. I know those guys are in the spotlight, but they are kids. I’m in my early 40s and still make decisions I second and third guess. I often think of the many things I did coming from a Christian, well-trained, African-American home with both parents and support from my siblings just excellent role models, well-respected family, I can go on and on. But there were times in college I made some decisions that could have cost me and/or others our lives and perhaps landed me in jail or mental institution. Working on the staff with the late Paul Hansen, I said some things to officials after games that I wish I could take back some 21 -22 years later. After reading the Houston Chronicle online, I saw a list of the top 10 guys drafted in April’s draft and recalled what everyone was saying about Andre Smith (Alabama) and how his stock was down due to some decisions he made during the combines and late in the season. Well he went sixth overall. I can’t recall where the big mouth tight end from Miami (Kellen Winslow Jr.) went when he was drafted by Cleveland a few years back. But I don’t think all that I’m-a-soldier talk caused him to slip too far. Keep in mind mankind responds in two ways, either through emotion or via behavior. Kids are very impulsive and don’t think before they react, so we have to take that into consideration. Blogs like this contribute to underclassman leaving early, they feel that if they are going to be criticized for mistakes they make on and off the field, it’s easier to take when you are getting a salary.”
First of all, let’s go back to Planet Earth. No college kid ever left early for any reason that had to do with media or fans. They leave because they want to be paid and they would prefer the professional lifestyle, and for that, I don’t blame them one bit. Second, Andre Smith was considered one of the two best players in the draft before he got himself kicked off the team at Bama. So you’re right, he didn’t fall far. But he fell some, and when you drop from No. 3 to No. 6, that’s millions of dollars. Gresham hasn’t cost himself a lot of money yet. But unless someone gets ahold of him and tells him to quit acting like a knucklehead, it could happen. Michael Crabtree only LIVED with a fellow who was into drugs, and Crabtree dropped to No. 10 despite ranking with Smith as perhaps the draft’s best talent. We could debate all night whether these guys are kids or not. But it’s irrelevant in this case. Gresham is about to be a pro, and he’s going into the draft either slightly red-flagged or much red-flagged. It’s up to him.
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