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Getting a late start this morning. Please blame football.

Jan 5, 2011, 6:47 AM EST

Allstate Sugar Bowl - Ohio State v Arkansas Getty Images

Because I still have a soft spot for my alma mater despite its many trespasses (and the fact that it’s freakin’ football) I stayed up late last night watching the Sugar Bowl. Go Bucks. A couple of observations:

  • Anyone who complains about baseball being a slow, draggy sport should just can it. This was a regulation football game that lasted nearly four hours. There were 11 minutes between the end of the National Anthem and the start of the game for cryin’ out loud. They took 10 minutes and two plays after the clock ran out in the third quarter. Baseball is simply better in every conceivable way than football, even in the playoffs, even with late starts and long games, and I just won’t argue the point.
  • I don’t care that everyone who made important plays for Ohio State in that game has been found to have violated NCAA rules. They’re dumb, hypocritical exploitative rules and I will not for one second slam college football players for not abiding by NCAA idiocy. Especially when that same NCAA idiocy allowed them to play anyway. We’re all a part of the same hypocrisy, Senator.
  • Ryan Mallett may have thrown the interception that effectively ended that game, but the dude was betrayed by his receivers all damn night. I feel bad for the guy. If he had one guy making even half the plays for him on offense, Arkansas wins that game easily.
  • I don’t care about the BCS title game or the NFL playoffs, so for all intents and purposes, I consider football season to be over now. Let’s have spring training start tomorrow, mmmkay?

OK, that’s it. I wrote this post before I went to bed last night so I could sleep in a bit and be all fresh for the Hall of Fame outrage I expect to muster later today. Talk to you in a few minutes, y’all.

  1. JM Lattanzi - Jan 5, 2011 at 7:22 AM

    It’s alright – I got a late start today as well. Same reason.

    1) I love football, but it doesn’t hold a candle to baseball.

    2) Kudos to the Godfather 2 reference. But never think it applies to my family.

    3) Mallet may have cost himself some money, despite it being more on his receivers.

    Bring on the Hall of Fame results and Spring Training.

  2. billybeaneismyhero - Jan 5, 2011 at 8:04 AM

    Great ending to last night’s game. Got a chance to go to Columbus for a game over Labor Day weekend in 2009. They played Navy. It was a great game, but the seats were less than comfortable. I guess they would’ve been fine if I hadn’t been stuck next a 300 pound woman who took up 2.5 seats. Other than that, great place to see a football game.

  3. heiniemanush - Jan 5, 2011 at 8:38 AM

    I stopped watching football several years ago and it has been a liberating experience. It’s refreshing to have weekends completely free to read (books about baseball!), watch old movies, go to museums and spend time with the loved ones. Of course, having spent over thirty years in vain rooting for Detroit Lions fan made the transition easier.

  4. Jonny 5 - Jan 5, 2011 at 8:46 AM

    I enjoy football. Not even close to as much as I enjoy baseball. And yes, they can drag out a game for far too long. I think it was last week where it took about 30 minutes to burn the final 2 minutes off the clock for the Eagles game vs. the Cowpucks.

    If you want exciting football. I have 2 words. Mike Vick. The Philadelphia Eagles shocked every Philly fan I know. We all expected one dud of a season with Kolb taking the ball, but boy were we in for a shocker weren’t we? Mike Vic may just be this seasons NFL MVP. Redskins fans, How’s DoNabb doing btw??? tee hee hee….

    I don’t expect the Eagles to make the superbowl, but I wouldn’t be totally shocked if they did either.. Man, Philly sports teams are kinda getting elite. Between the Phills, Flyers, and Eagles, I couldn’t be much more content.

    But yeah, when does spring training begin again???

    • JM Lattanzi - Jan 5, 2011 at 9:00 AM

      I’m right with you on the Eagles…and Spring Training. It’s great to be optimistic this year as a Phillies fan.

      You notice no one tends to hear anymore about how NBA games take 20-30 minutes to complete the final 2-3 minutes of clock time. I guess many of us probably just say “wait a minute, the NBA is still around?”

      • Jonny 5 - Jan 5, 2011 at 9:19 AM

        In order to remain married It has been written. No more sports. So Basketball didn’t make the cut. I watch playoffs though… shhhh… don’t tell..

      • JM Lattanzi - Jan 5, 2011 at 9:53 AM

        Your secret is safe with me….and 2,000 of your closest friends on the internet.

        So you have a limit on the amount of sports you can watch? I guess I am fortunate; my wife is as fanatical a Phillies fan as I am, sometimes even moreso.

  5. largebill - Jan 5, 2011 at 9:02 AM

    Craig,

    Spot on. No need to start a week night game at 8:45 or so. Also, no need to consume as much alcohol as I may have.

    As far as the players go, concur with your stance. I’d go a step further and tell the folks bitching about it to get off their high horse, particularly SEC fans. These two years old infractions were self reported. In the SEC self-reporting is considered cause to fire a coach.

    Like many I scoffed at Tressel proclaiming the players promised to return for their suspension next year. Having said that, the ones talking last night seemed legitimately committed to return. I’m not naive and understand various people will be whispering in their ears all the reasons to forgo their senior season. Be interesting to watch.

  6. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 5, 2011 at 9:58 AM

    I don’t care that everyone who made important plays for Ohio State in that game has been found to have violated NCAA rules. They’re dumb, hypocritical exploitative rules and I will not for one second slam college football players for not abiding by NCAA idiocy. Especially when that same NCAA idiocy allowed them to play anyway. We’re all a part of the same hypocrisy, Senator.

    What’s absurd is the hypocrisy when applying the same rule! AJ Green sold his jersey for $2500 and had to sit out 4 games this season, screwing over Georgia. 5 players get caught and are allowed to play in a bowl game [only after promising they'll return next year. and if you believe that, i have some bridges in NYC to sell you].

    Or how about the hypocrisy across sports? James Paxton was dropped by his UK team after refusing to meet with NCAA investigators on whether he hired a lawyer to negotiate with the Blue Jays after being drafted in ’09. UK was afraid they’d lose their season since that action is punishable by the NCAA. See the precedent set by Andy Oliver as he was suspended for doing the same thing.

    So remember kids, if you want to take money, have your parents do it and keep yourself out of the negotiation[Reggie Bush vs Cam Newton]. If you are going to break the rules, make sure you do it at the end of the season rather than the offseason [AJ Green vs Pryor].

    • mrfloydpink - Jan 5, 2011 at 12:22 PM

      While the NCAA certainly has its faults, I will observe that:

      1. These were not secret rules that Pryor, et. al. violated. They knew it was a violation, and they did it anyhow. When you sign up for a football scholarship, this is part of the deal you’re agreeing to. You don’t have the privilege of deciding you don’t like some parts of the deal (even if they seem unfair or arbitrary) and ignoring them. If you don’t like the NCAA’s rules, play JuCo, where nobody will care about your jersey.

      2. If the NCAA tolerated this kind of thing, it would open up a giant loophole. Who’s to say that a game-worn jersey isn’t worth $10,000 or $50,000 or $100,000? Ohio State could give Pryor a fresh jersey every quarter, and then he could turn around and sell them to a “supportive” alum for $25,000 a pop. Voila! Legalized cash payments. One might argue that Pryor should be paid a salary (a proposal that has some issues of its own). But even if you do argue that, it has nothing to do with whether or not this rule is apropos. Even if players are paid a salary, it’s still not ok to open the door for this short of thing.

  7. clusterpuck - Jan 5, 2011 at 10:14 AM

    I’m guessing all of you posting baseball is better then football are fans of the 4 or 5 teams that actually have any chance of competing this year. Baseball is a joke. Just throw the Yankees, Red Sox, Phillies, and a couple other teams into a playoff and spare us the 6+ plus months of pointless unwatchable regular season baseball.

    • apbaguy - Jan 5, 2011 at 11:49 AM

      Mr. Timmy and the rest of the SF boys have a newsflash for you: “we won”. Not the “4 or 5 teams that actually have any chance of competing” nonsense that goes around every year from people who don’t know baseball.
      Look, Tom Brady grew up 4 blocks from my house. The guy’s a hero out here, not just because of Giselle. I’ve lived in Texas, where next to hatin’ on the alleged socialist and/or Kenyan-born, football is the most powerful urge among men. I prefer baseball. Non major market teams have a better chance to win in it all in the MLB than in the other major sports. No salary cap. And teams are encouraged to play defense, unlike the NFL. As for college football. Do I really need to see Oshkosh at 6-6 play Slippery Rock at 7-5 in January? No. Especially when it takes 4 hours (really, 3 minutes of commercials after a 15 second kickoff that followed 3 minutes of commercials).

  8. clusterpuck - Jan 5, 2011 at 12:25 PM

    “I prefer baseball. Non major market teams have a better chance to win in it all in the MLB than in the other major sports.”

    Really? Are Green Bay, Kansas City, Indianapolis, New Orleans, Seattle, Pittsburgh major markets? No. Those teams make up half the NFL playoffs this year. 3 of those cities have MLB teams that will never compete under the current MLB structure. .

    • apbaguy - Jan 5, 2011 at 12:50 PM

      “Win it all” is different than “make the playoffs”. We’ll see who’s left standing at the end of the year. And the comment related to all major sports, not just NFL. The NFL parity numbers are just slightly behind MLB, but they are behind-see Jason Stark’s ESPN column from yesterday.

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