Thursday, January 04, 2007

Some assorted football thoughts

1. I'm not doing a recap because I didn't record it, but Gameday on New Years' was pretty damn bad. Tremendous cross-promotion for the Rose Bowl (which followed almost a month of promos). It was almost as if the other games didn't happen. Plus, several minutes were spent allowing Kirk Herbstreit to order AP voters to vote for Michigan if Florida were to do what Michigan couldn't. I'm on the record - under no circumstances should media personalities have any influence on crowning a champion. And to top it all off, the Fiesta Bowl, the best game of the day (season), was barely mentioned.

2. The supposed controversy over Nick Saban saying one thing while at a job and then another after he'd taken a different job seems to me to be media driven. Coaches leave jobs, and Nick Saban (as much as Dennis Erickson) especially has lots of experience leaving jobs. It's not surprising, and nothing worth getting all this upset about. The reason people are talking about it? Because Saban semi-berated journalists who were asking impertinent (to him) questions. One writer asks Saban a few weeks ago (while he still has games to coach for Miami) about Alabama, and he denies it. Ten, twenty, thirty more writers ask the same question, and Saban snaps at them. And then he turns about face, and the journalists he snapped at call him a liar. Add those journalists' friends in the print, radio and television media get the word out. Doug Gottlieb on ESPN Radio said as much yesterday in the midst of a 5 minute rant on Saban's lack of integrity. Saban can change his mind, protect his interests, and leave for what he considers a better job. Journalists can ask questions, write stories, and even become annoying to those from whom they seek information. And journalists are free, as much as anyone else, to harbor grudges against those who disrespect them. But journalists also should mind the fact that their platform gives them certain privileges and expectations. If too many journalists use that platform to promote angles based on personal grudges, they might cause more of the consumers to turn elsewhere for something balanced. And sure, there's a meta discussion here. Blogs and message boards offer equal opportunities for personal biases to come into play. And that's surely one reason why I like transparency.

3. I blame ESPN's overhyping of the Rose Bowl and the absolutely terrible announcing crew of Musberger, Davie and Herbstreit (which truly got worse over the course of the year - I kept waiting for Herbstreit to explode with a "why must I be surrounded by frickin' idiots!") for me missing the Fiesta Bowl. After about 136 hours straight of football, topped off with a snoozefest of a game and a crew of announcers that stoop to mock those bloggers who SHOCK! want them to do a fucking better job than the unprepared, cliched shitshoveling that they do... well, I'd 'bout had enough with football. And the best damn game of the season drops in. The highlights were pretty great. I feel like an idiot.

4. I agree with Orson and Peter on the Sugar Bowl coverage. I'm about stunned that I'm writing this, but I actually didn't mind FOX's coverage of the Cotton, Orange and Sugar Bowls. For the Cotton and Orange, I got the sense that the announcers weren't talking all that much. They actually let crowd noise in. They let you hear the game instead of inanity. It was kind of weird, really. And really weird considering FOX's NFL coverage. The Sugar Bowl was a gab-fest, but the announcers were kind of entertaining. This all may just be due to the fact that I haven't gotten sick of the FOX announcing crews from all year long, like I have with every other announcer crew.

5. The Chick-Fil-A Bowl was a microcosm for my experience as a Georgia football fan. Frustration and joy. That is all.

6. I am not looking forward to playing Kentucky next year. And I've got a weird feeling that Ole Miss is going to make a leap up next year too. Georgia's schedule is not going to be easy next year.

7. One other thing about Boise State... There's been some discussion around the blogs about how Boise State should have some consideration for a title. Nobody beat them, so I say raise a banner. Boise State will finish no lower than second in the Lebowski rankings. I swear that system works. I swear!

8. I actually watched the last quarter and overtime of the Insight Bowl. Thank the Lord Glen Mason didn't take the Georgia job in 1995. Terrible coaching down the stretch.