Sunday, November 16, 2008

Just keep on meddlin'

Please, don't try and help.

As you may have noticed, it has been quite some time since I have posted anything to this faire blog (see what I just did there?). So, it takes something in the sports world that is politically interventionist enough to roust my grumpy ass out of my cyberspace rut.

Sometimes, things like that come along.

On an interview on 60 Minutes, President-elect Barack Obama shared his feeling that college football should have a playoff system. Fair enough, I can't say I disagree with him. The sham BCS system is a complete sham that most college football fans would probably agree needs to go away in the process of determining a national champion. However, what seƱor Obama and I differ on greatly is the method in which that needs to happen:
"I don't know any serious fan of college football who has disagreed with me on this. So, I'm going to throw my weight around a little bit. I think it's the right thing to do."
First, let me say that this kind of thing isn't surprising. Politicians have many times thought it was in the best interest of the public to interfere in sports matters on behalf of fans. If you've read anything on this blog before, then my response is about to be very predictable.

Please, Barack Obama, leave it alone. Go back to sticking your fingers into the economy and fouling it up by overregulating the crap out of everything and further devaluing the cash in my pocket. But please, leave sports alone. Don't try and strong arm your way into "fixing" a system in which you have no stake. Don't "throw your weight around" to try and get an eight-game playoff system. If college football finally gets enough of the griping about the BCS system being idiotic, then they'll change the format. And if fans have enough of it, they'll stop watching games. Don't expect that to happen though since fans don't hold any stake in college football games other than the money they spend perpetually on gear, tickets and donations to their alma maters. If fans are truly fed up with it, they'll stop going to the games and buying stuff. They can also use the halt of their donation dollars to their school of choice with the caveat that the money will commence when their school gets on board with a playoff. Fans can do their best to bully their points of view in, that's America, dammit.

Ultimately, the BCS system still thrives because of the corporate sponsorship stakes that are held in the games. And any fan that claims to have more of a mandate over how those games should be played than a business that has poured millions of dollars into it is someone who clearly doesn't value the principle of investment.

Do I think that the businesses and NCAA could come up with a system that still utilizes bowl games and integrates them with a playoff system? Absolutely. But it isn't Barack Obama's or any other politician's responsibility to stick their nose in it and force private organizations to follow the whim of a fan who just so happens to have power.

Reasonably yours,

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