In his political and pop-culture infused off-beat commentary known as “Conner’s Burnt Orange Glasses”, Jeff Conner gives each of the things we have learned from the BCS, one of which is that college football is clearly not a sport.
This disgusting train wreck we call college football is not a total loss. Sure, from the outside it looks like a big, maggot-infested pile of week-old afterbirth, and from the inside is as clean and humane as a Myanmar prison, but there can be truth and beauty even in anarchy. If we prick up our ears like Barry Switzer hearing a cork being pulled from a jug, we can actually learn something from all this.
Big 12 Championship Game. OU didn’t beat much. I have no idea when Missouri went in reverse, changing from hot Cinderella to coyote ugly, floor-scrubbing step-sister. Perhaps in the first half of the Mizzou game against us when we beat them like the bare feet of an Iraqi terrorism suspect. Regardless, these posers tanked faster than the David Archuleta C.D., looking just as manly in the process. It is important to remember that my beloved, mighty, fighting Texas Longhorns were the ones who tore the wrapping paper and cellophane off the new and improved Tigers and exposed them for the frauds they are, enabling the rest of the conference to have their way with them. As Sean Avery of the Dallas Stars can tell you, people like OU Coach Bob Stoops just live for the Horns’ sloppy seconds.
Marcus Aurelius Was Right. The Roman emperor and philosopher spent a great deal of time discussing how all things act according to their essential essence: “Looking at all things I see what is their nature, and I use each according to its value.” In other words, scorpions will sting you, canaries will sing to you and dogs will lick your face. Unless you want a swollen face like 30 Rock star Alec Baldwin, don’t confuse which is which or expect them to act contrary to their basic nature.
In the same manner, Sooners will be Sooners. My father, a long and patient football fan, once told me, “Oklahoma doesn’t just want to beat you. They need to cheat you as well. If they win without cheating, it doesn’t mean anything to them.” For years, I thought he was nuts, judging OU by long-gone, outdated stereotypes. I figured Bob Stoops, with his clean good looks and church attendance, was better morally and ethically than a degenerate bootlegger’s son like Barry Switzer. But, as I have discovered many times since my adolescence, Dad was right. OU hastily ran up the score in the last four minutes of the Big 12 Championship game, long after the Missouri defense had quit. It was like watching an aggressive, self-righteous prosecuting attorney reign down a devastating cross-examination on a nine-year-old Down Syndrome kid. Evidently, there is no joy or self-satisfaction in winning by a fair margin when your starting quarterback is nursing an injured left wrist. The wound was unsalted. The knife was untwisted. The earth was unscortched. The last ounce of humiliation and debasement had not been wrung from a broken and dejected enemy. Sooners are only happy when others, especially Longhorns, are miserable. Don’t kid yourself. OU will not look back in remorse on this season, riddled with doubt because they backed into the title game. This is exactly the script they wanted and could not have planned it better had they hired the guy who wrote the Dark Knight screenplay.
Things always act according to their nature.
No Longer a Sport. I have two fundamental criteria to determine if an activity is a sport: 1) the athletic, physical component must be primary, and 2) there must be an objective way to determine a winner. While I have occasionally seen articles on chess in Sports Illustrated, board games are not sports because they are not physically demanding. Gymnastics is extremely challenging physically, but the winners are determined by judges acting arbitrarily and subjectively. In my mind, that means gymnastics, figure skating and anything with the word “synchronized” in the title is not a sport.
College football is no longer a sport. It is closer to American Idol than Monday Night Football. “I don’t know, Paula. That screen pass didn’t really do it for me, Dawg.” The BCS is a reality TV show without the dignity. It is a beauty contest without the evening gown competition. With no clear way to pick a champion, my favorite sport has devolved into a drunken, groping, wet t-shirt contest where the guy behind the bar guesses over the din of the DJ which fake boobs had the loudest cheers.
Please. At least have the stones to call it what it is.
Don’t Tell Me It’s a Dead Issue. Piss off. I don’t want to get over it. I don’t want to make nice. I don’t want to shake hands. Don’t tell me I’m whining, you irrelevant Aggie bastards. It is not a dead issue. It is not over. I will not let it go. I don’t want closure. I don’t want to be in a good place with it.
Immediately after crimes, some victims make statements to the effect that they have forgiven the Defendant. While that is a noble and Christ-like sentiment, it is completely fake. Before forgiveness can occur, one must feel the full brunt of the loss. Only after it sinks in what is gone, after there has been time to grieve, only then can real forgiveness happen.
I’ll get over the BCS thing when I am damn good and ready, and not a moment before. Until then, I will stew in my own juices and curse the heavens like Job in the Bible. I will scream, rant, commiserate with my fellow Horns, and slander the Sooners with every breath. I will think of Sam Bradford every time I leave something in the toilet. If you don’t like it, change the channel.
With that thought in mind, it seems appropriate to end with Marcus Aurelius: “Anger cannot be dishonest.”
Jeff Conner’s political and pop culture-infused Longhorn commentary appears regularly in the Inside Texas magazine and at InsideTexas.com.
David Archuleta photo from imageshack.us. Chase Daniel photo from marketpower.typepad.com. Salt photo from foundhistory.org.