Monday, September 04, 2006

Why I won't give up on college football.

Earlier this evening, I was ready to write a post headed "Why I'm giving up on college football." I had turned on the TV to find Florida State, midway in the first quarter, leading Miami by a field goal. The 'Noles had the ball, deep in their territory, third and ten. The quarterback took the snap, dropped back, and, with good protection, set up and threw a perfect spiral downfield. The receiver was covered, but jumped up, and the ball hit his hands. Of course, it bounced off them and fell into the hands of a Miami defender, who fell to the ground, covering the ball and giving the 'Canes great field position. I didn't want to see the inevitable touchdown, so I turned off the tube while muttering an expletive that made my wife say something negative about my relationship to sports in general.

So it was that I began mentally drafting my explanation of why Miami owns Florida State (If you were a premier prospect, where would you rather spend four or (more likely) five years: beach 'n' bling city USA or a small metropolis in the red clay country that is subject to ice storms in winter and has government and higher education as its principal reasons for being?). And, for my coda; well, it's all just too predictable. Except when you want it to be. (For a contrary example to this rule, see here).

Anyway, I braved myself to check the late score and found the 'Noles with a 13-10 lead late in the 4th. This proved to hold, much to my surprise.

Steel yourselves. There will be more college football rants.

9/7 addendum: Reggie hits me with the "Why bother with the college game when the NFL is so much better?" meme. My short answer is, "acculturation." I got to know football as a child and youth in Florida long before there were Dolphins, Buccaneers or Jaguars. There were, however, Gators, Seminoles, Hurricanes, and even (in those days) University of Tampa Spartans. They were the ones who made the Tampa Tribune Sunday headlines. Of course, there was token coverage of the Giants, Steelers, Browns, Bears and Packers for the benefit of vacationing snowbirds.

I note that Reggie is a Tarheel, meaning he's from a place where college football has always been a poor second cousin to college basketball. It's interesting to note that North Carolina now hosts a first-rate NFL team, but the NBA couldn't succeed there. Maybe there's some kind of inverse relationship. (Yeah, but the Colts and Pacers are both good. OK, something about exceptions that prove rules?)

Steve Irwin

My daughter said she really wished I would post on my blog about him. She and I watched many of his shows on Animal Planet. I found him engaging and humorous, and admired his commitment to conservation. I think the fact that she felt so strongly about his death says something very positive about her.

9/12 update, with which I think my daughter would heartily agree.

Meet Wellington.

He's a Cavalier King Charles spaniel. On his first exploration of the sidewalks of Brooklyn Heights, he met a French bulldog named Napoleon. They didn't fight.