Came across some interesting issues and articles this week so I decided to share them with the Hobbers.
SEC Overrated???- Jay Christensen who runs the excellent CFB site The wiz of odds recently wrote a piece discussing whether the SEC was overrated, specifically if the conference has benefited from the "Hype Machine." And generally I agree that the SEC is overrated...but they are still the best conference hands down. In terms of the hype machine? Who DOESN'T benefit from the hype machine. There indeed is a dominant group thought in the media but the shit goes in cycles.
2005-2006 USC was undefeated, ready to face the Texas Longhorns in the Rose Bowl for the MNC. (Which to this day is still the best CFB game I've ever seen) First we have Reggie Bush. To be sure, Bush was an excellent college player, but he was never the guy who could completely take over a game. (See Rose Bowl, 2005) He was a flashy guy who made insane runs who played for the media darling. As a result he won the Heisman over clearly the best player in CFB, Vince Young. Hype Machine-1 Logic-0. Now, if you remember the foreman of the hype machine plant, ESPN held a "Best CFB teams of all time" or some damn segment on sports center in what became the most disgusting thing I've ever witnessed in sports media. ESPN, in their infinite wisdom, "crowned" the 2005 USC team the greatest ever....BEFORE THEY ACTUALLY PLAYED IN THE NATIONAL TITLE GAME. Which they lost. This is just one example, I could go back and find situations like this every year. Shit this year they are actually talking about Bama and Florida playing twice. One for the SEC championship and the second time in the MNC. Huh, I've never seen that brilliant idea before.
So I guess my point is sure, the SEC is overrated but when you actually look at it, they are still the best conference in CFB. And there will ALWAYS be a "hype machine" forcing agendas down our throat.
(This is why I hate writing for GRH, I have to defend assholes who chant S-E-C, S-E-C and Texas)
Mush Heads- Everyone's favorite fro'd economist Malcolm Gladwell wrote a piece for The New Yorker where he desperately tried to connect mush head football players to Mike Vick's washed up dogs. A for effort, F for actual relevancy. But more to the point. Gladwell, along with everyone else, highlights the impact, (PUN) concussions have on athletes. Two things come from this article. 1. Concussions are bad and coaches, trainers, and athletes need to be educated on dealing with concussions. Totally agree, as a recipeint of several...or was it 2....maybe 5? concussions that I didn't tell anyone about, I agree the culture in all sports needs to change from take an Advil and play to hey let's get this checked out. It's funny because concussions aren't that painful or scary, and if you read the piece it's kind of hard to tell if you have one or not. (I always thought it was being drunk or swimming in a pool all day long) Anyway I know/played with guys who have had significant head trauma and it's kinda scary to see how some of these guys end up. (Although it's a weak correlation to causation argument)
2. Gladwell hints at the fact that the game should change in order to cure these injuries.
In December of 1905, the presidents of twelve prominent colleges met in New York and came within one vote of abolishing the game. But the main objection at the time was to a style of play—densely and dangerously packed offensive strategies—that, it turns out, could be largely corrected with rule changes, like the legalization of the forward pass and the doubling of the first-down distance from five yards to ten. Today, when we consider subtler and more insidious forms of injury, it’s far from clear whether the problem is the style of play or the play itself.Ok let's just back it up one second. First off Gladwell cites specific instances where former players have had issues from concussions. But what of the others who live a perfectly healthy life. Think about all the football players in this country. Let's say middle school to pro..........yeah a lot. Now add in all the years we have been playing football in this country. Also, a lot. So even though I think the issue needs to be addressed I also think it's a tad bit premature to label this as an epidemic. My second point is that playing football is a choice and entering the game one knows the inherent risks involved. I heard a radio host say "I'm not going to let my son play football after reading this." Fine, he would probably suck anyway. The other thing I'd like to point out is the various things a 16 year old can do. Now think back to when you were that age, how many potentially dangerous situations were you involved in. I'll let you think.
A ton of stuff, trust me I know.
Main point is, yes we do need to address concussions with greater concern. But comparing football players to Mike Vick's dogs or asserting that we need to change the structure of the game? Child please.
Last point, and I'll make it quick. I was kinda joking with Rush owning the Rams earlier, but it seems people are really pissed off about this. And to that I reply: Get over yourself. Josh Zerkle of KSK Punte fame wrote a decent response earlier this week. I'll add one more point. Sometimes I want to get away from politics and bullshit. In order to do this I watch the NFL or read Dan Brown/Clive Cussler books. Why? I don't want to think, I just want to veg out. So please, please don't ruin this for me. It's the same type of shit we saw with Mike Vick getting reinstated.
I have enough shit to deal with. Please....PLEASE don't make me defend Rush.