Greetings Buckeye fans and welcome to the first skull session since my beloved Yankees stopped the bleeding on a six game losing streak. It's times like this when you realize just how great college football is in that your favorite team is able to bring in 20-ish brand new prospects each year to replace the guys who have used up their eligibility or chosen to move on whereas big market pro teams like the Yankees are forced to sign guys to longer and more expensive deals than they are worth as a thank you for lifetime service (Jeter, Posada) which becomes extremely painful at the back end of those ridiculous contracts. In addition, more often than not, colleges get kids in virtual prime of their athleticism, or at least on the upswing versus the downslope so you almost never have to watch a player disintegrate physically right before your eyes.
Okay, I'll shift gears now since I assume at least 90% of you hate the Yankees for numerous valid (and invalid) reasons despite the many Yankees/OSU ties, I'm aware that's not what you come here for...
College Football HLoLF. First, let me say I'm as happy as anyone that a class act and bad ass running back like Eddie George will become the 29th Buckeye elected to the college footbal HoF. He's as deserving as anyone based on what he accomplished on the field and he's a fantastic representative for Ohio State taboot. His ability to overcome a rough start with the fumbles and evolve into the first Buckeye in my lifetime to win the Stiff Arm is an impressive story. And that 314 against Illinois is still one of the sickest performances I've ever seen.
Still, it's hard for me to get overly excited about the college football HoF as a whole. Maybe it's because I'm such a baseball fan but I have a hard time seeing the need for a HoF that, for players at least, can only take into account what someone did over a maximum four year span. I'm not saying there isn't a need or that it isn't special, it's just that four years is such a small sample size of a person's performance in a given sport. I know that's kind of a flimsy argument against the HoF since it's really just about personal preference but other factors that don't jive are the nomination and criteria.
The nomination process is elongated and clunky while the only firm criteria for a player are to be recognized as a major first team all-american and to be at least 10 years removed from the last game played but not more than 50 years. That sounds fine and dandy but between the nomination and criteria processes, you somehow end up seeing very odd things happening with regard to timing, summarized perfectly yesterday by Adam Jacobi. Like him or not, Deion Sanders basically invented the term shut-down corner and it took 22 years for him to gain enshrinement. As Jacobi notes, Eric Dickerson still isn't in and he played 30 years ago although I admit that makes a little more sense as he played at SMU and drove a booster-fueled gold Trans Am but there's no scandal to blame for Tommie Frazier's lack of recognition. Two titles, 33-3 as a starter and 83 TD's aren't good enough?
Long story short, the HoF just seems a bit randomly disorganized for me to give too much of a hoot about it from a player perspective especially when, in the end, we're talking about four years of football. Where do you stand?
"Moonshine, Here! Get Your Fatty Moonshine Here". This may come as a surprise so prepare yourself accordingly...West Virginia fans who commented about a proposal to sell beer inside the venues of athletic events said - by a 2 to 1 margin - that they oppose the idea. My first impulse was to assume that 33% of the respondents couldn't read, causing a seismic inaccuracy of the results but apparently the fans have spoken as intended. Those against the proposal even said they'd stop coming to games, cancel season tickets and refrain from donating couches for students to burn.
Those in favor of the proposal argue it could curtail the binge drinking that occurs prior to kickoff but if you've ever been to a game at WVU, you know that's unrealistic. My one and only trip to Morgantown occured in September '98 when the Buckeyes put a 34-17 whuppin' on Bulger, Zereoue, Porter and company and I have to say I've never seen such a pitiful display of drunken fandom. Couch fires, empty bottles of Jack raining down on the field, drunken, shirtless hooligans screaming at old ladies about Katzenmoyer's grades. I know stuff like this happens in and around plenty of stadiums but WVU fans were BY FAR the worst I've ever seen. To sell beer inside that stadium would do nothing but help the university get even more rich off the shenanigans they tolerate.
March Madne$$. Maybe you've seen this but it defintely got by me until yesterday. Last October, the NCAA paid $17.2 million to a sports and entertainment marketer (Intersport) for exclusive rights to the phrase "March Madness." Intersport held the rights since the early '90's as part of a deal with the Illinois High School Association. USA Today's article notes a "leading brand strategist", Ed O'Hara, considers the move a great deal for the NCAA:
"In my life, March Madness has grown a hundredfold. It's a lifestyle. It engages an entire nation. And that is power. March Madness to the NCAA is the Super Bowl the NFL -- even bigger because it's not just one game spread over a couple of weeks and it engages communities at the grass roots level all across the country. It's massive. Intersport might be saying in five years, 'Wow, we should have held out for more.' "
With the March Madness brand firmly entrenched as part of a tournament TV deal that will see Turner and CBS fork out $10.8 billion over 14 years to the NCAA, it's hard to argue against the NCAA's $17.2 million investment.
Catching Up With JaJuan Story. Remember Jajuan Story? He's the 6'4" receiver Ohio State was in on until he ultimately decided to sign with the Gators this past February. Not only could the Buckeyes use another wideout at the moment but they also lost out on a quote machine, at least you'll think so if you are as immature as me. Here's a snippet from his recent interview with Gator Country:
Q: What’s your favorite pre-game ritual?
A: Well, I take a doodoo. Before every game I doodoo.
Q: That’s your FAVORITE pregame ritual?
A: Well, that’s the only thing I do. That’s one thing I have to do before every game, or I won’t feel energy, and I’ll just feel slow. When I do I just feel light on my feet and everything, and I feel faster, so that’s what I do.
Q: You know I’m going to write this in a story right?
A: Well, I mean, that’s what it is. I doodoo and then listen to Katy Perry.
Katy Perry?!? Doodoo in, doodoo out, I guess. That makes sense.