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Just Watch the Games; Everything else is Noise

+2 HS
Run_Fido_Run's picture
December 3, 2018 at 11:25am

Hovenaut made an astute and important comment in response to this morning's Skully, which I feel deserves its own thread: 

Too much business, too much show, too much beaucracy between the networks, bowl sponsors, etc. 

It's all taking away from the game - and it's sad. Maybe another full rant for another day, but I have zero interest in the playoffs now. That's not me saying I'm boycotting, I just don't care. Similar to the NFL "productions" - spare me the pregame rah-rah, halftime show, and all that bullshit. 

Give me football, let the game decide - on the field. The people that drive these decisions are losing sight of what really matters.

Two smart regular 11W commenters responded to Hovenaut accordingly:

Analytical Guy: It can be frustrating if you pay attention. My solution is just to focus on the games actually played ON the field rather than those played elsewhere.

Mr. Green: Well said, A-guy. The games still are fun to me. The rest is noise.

This is excellent advice, in theory, but is it really practical? Is it really possible to tune out the noise while simultaneously enjoying the game on the field to its fullest extent? I say no. When we look back on our most ecstatic moments as Buckeyes' fans, wasn't "the noise" part of that ecstatic experience, albeit a different type (or era) of noise than what we get from eSECpn, the committee, etc.?

For those readers over 35 years old . . . contrast how we used to experience the Rose Bowl in its heyday compared to how we experience it now. Wasn't the media "noise" part of what once made it feel so special, gave it a sense of gravitas? Nowadays we have numerous technological breakthroughs that have enhanced the viewing experience - ultra HD televisions, computer generated first down lines, dozens of camera views, etc. And yet, the experience of watching of Fowler, Herbstreit, ABC/eSECpn production of the 2019 Rose Bowl will do everything it can to try to make the event feel cheap and hollow. Go YouTube a 1970s/80s Rose Bowl, with Curt Gowdy or Dick Enberg calling the games, and notice the difference? 

So why the difference? Obviously, it's partly due to the system, i.e. the playoff diminishing the importance of non-playoff Rose Bowl games, being just one example. I would argue, though, it also has something to do with how much "the noise" has changed, mostly for the worse. And these two factors are intertwined, even symbiotic, because the people making the most noise get to decide which games will be more important and which teams get to play in them. 

There have always been politics, bureaucracy, lobbying, corruption, big money, media narratives, etc. in college football. But whereas "the noise" in the past didn't seem to overwhelm the pageantry and poetry of the games, themselves, and the noise once actually gave the games more of a sense of excitement and gravitas; now the noise is overwhelming the games and somehow making them feel tawdry despite the most amazing technology and football skill/athleticism we've ever seen in our lives. 

(P.s., how goofy was Fox's lead in segment to the Big Ten Championship game? How about eSECpn's inane production in between actual football plays?)

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