Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Long weekend postmortem

Most everyone had a three-day Labor Day weekend, just like yours truly, but I also had the added day off yesterday to hang out with my absolutely adorable daughter, who we just so happened to keep home from daycare due to the massive amount of snot pouring from her nose, not to mention the cough.  Yes, my dearest daughter had a cold, which I believe she picked up either at the Wal-Mart or the Jason's Deli in North Little Rock, two places we happened to be on Sunday.  So my three-day weekend was extended to a three-day weekend plus one day of playing wipe-the-nose with a 20-month-old who quickly tired of daddy chasing her around the house, snot rag in hand.  But she was able to make it to daycare today and is on the mend and I got to play catch-up at work. 

That being said, there are a couple of little tidbits I'd like to share with yours truly.

Number one - This fool used to be a pretty good sportswriter.  Now, he's a hack who coasts on past glory.  Why do you care?  Because he picked the Hogs to win the national championship this year.  Hallelujah!!!  His word should be Gospel!  Oh, but wait...he also said this in that same article:
If [Peyton] Manning doesn't start Game 1, I will come to your house and eat things that are stuck in your carpet. 
Oh, the humanity!*   Moral of the story:  Sportswriters are so very stupid when they start writing about things about which they have no idea.  They should stick with what they know about -- that is, regurgitating whatever BS a college athletic department's or NFL/MLB/NBA's PR flack gives them.

Number two - Yes, I've already picked on sportswriters today (see "Number one") but you cannot watch what happened over the weekend in college football and not bang on them again.  No. 14 TCU?  Beaten by unranked Baylor.  No. 16 Notre Dame?  Beaten by unranked South home.  Defending national champions, No 23 Auburn?  Pushed to the brink at home by Utah State.  Now, it is easy to say that this was the first game of the season and these teams are still working out their kinks or whatever, but since the rankings are voted on by...ta da!...sportswriters in the Associated Press, don't they bear just a bit of responsibility for clanking on over 8% of their Top 25 prognostications?**  Aside from meterologists predicting snow, is there any "profession" that would consider a 92% success rate OK?***

After all, the sportswriters that vote in the AP poll are supposed to be EXPERTS.  These guys are plugged in!  They write about college football a living!  Here, let me answer the rhetorical question I posed at the end of the preceding paragraph for you:  Unless you work in theory-based science, experimental medicine, or a field so esoteric that a failure rate is built into the profession itself, not very likely.  The best these guys are are semi-educated guessers at this point in the season.  They might have a bit of inside knowledge here, some calculated reasoning there, but when you get down to it, those sportwriters are too chicken to go out on a limb to NOT rank Notre Dame in the Top 25 at the beginning of the season (because they are Notre Dame, dammit!), or to just plug in the usual Alabama/Oklahoma/Notable-Overrated-Big-10-Team/Notable-Overmatched-PAC-10 team into their preseason rankings and not think a thing about it.  Because that's the easy way out.****  Print, publish, and talk junk like you actually have a clue right up until kickoff of week one. 

I'm hardly the first person to call for no rankings for the first month of the season.  You know, wait and see how teams fare against, you know, other teams.  See how it shakes out.  After a month, even sportswriters will begin to see which teams are actually good and which teams are trading on their reputation alone.  But, like the NCAA's myopic rigidity of refusing to consider to pay college athletes at least just a small stipend while the universities make bank off of that same player's name, face, and talents (which maybe would prevent this from happening), that won't happen.  Ever.  There's too much pomp, circumstance, and "tradition"***** to even consider abandoning the preseason rankings. 

Number three - Man, those red bananas I wrote about last week were not good.  Like, ACTIVELY not good.  I don't know whether they were not ripe enough or overripe, or what, but they assaulted my taste buds.   The one I ventured to eat was hard and chalky.  I had to spit it out.  I'm going to try another one in a day or two (after giving them a little more time to soften up, I suppose?), but until then, be forewarned!

*  Make sure to reserve your time with Mr. Reilly to come over to your house and eat your carpet goodies!
**  OK, sure, Auburn didn't technically lose.  But ask any Auburn fan or anybody that actually watched the game if they "lost" and I guarantee you the overwhelming consensus from those who watched the game will say "hell yes they lost."  Auburn fans won't answer you because they'll be crying into their hands.
***  And don't get me started on Ole Miss of the MIGHTY, MIGHTY S.E.C. WEST blowing a 4th quarter lead against newly independent Brigham Young University.  At home.  Although I'm actually not sure who was favored in that game.  I just wanted to bang on Ole Miss a bit.
**** Credit where credit is due:  Texas is not ranked in the preseason.
*****  And money.

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