Friday, July 21, 2017

Trying to understand college football

I am a big college football fan. I love the SEC. I live in Tallahassee so I have a healthy respect for the ACC. I tend to be an FSU baseball fan in the spring and summer holding season tickets to the Seminoles, Howser stadium. With football it is the Crimson Tide of Alabama. I attended classes there and lived in Montgomery Alabama for 10 years. I earned my degree from Huntingdon College a small liberal arts school in Montgomery. If you happen to live in Alabama you must choose to be an Auburn fan or an Alabama fan. I chose the Crimson Tide and had mixed feelings of warmth and appreciation for the Auburn Tiger, War Eagles. I like the Florida Gators having sent my youngest child there. My wife is a Brigham Young University alumnus so, of course, her allegiance is to the Georgia Bulldogs. In other words we just love college football, like so many other Americans, and I would spend every spare moment watching games, analysis and repeat games during the season. If you are a southern football team then you have my attention.

I have to admit that I struggle to understand the more's of the coaches, fans, administrators when it comes to the deportment and character of their programs. News comes out of Oxford, Mississippi that Hugh Freeze has resigned under extreme pressure from league officials  The story is ongoing and developing. It seems that we have a violation of team ethics by Freeze having used a university issued cell phone to order, pick one: Pizza, an Uber ride or kinky sex from an escort service. Whatever the case the right reverend poobahs of the University and the league ain't having any of it. Raising their noble chins and speaking in hushed tones before the press they report that Coach Freeze had to go.

Now let me take you back a few years to an event that happened right here in our home town of Tallahassee, Florida. It was 2013. The story develops concerning a very talented football player, one Jameus "Famous" Winston. This player was all world. Not only in football but also in baseball. The rumor had it that the head he-coon of the Alabama Crimson Tide wanted Winston so bad that he was drooling. Jimbo Fisher of FSU out foxed the old he-coon by telling Winston that he would be allowed to play baseball at FSU. Not so at Alabama. Saban, in fitting regard to his dictatorial style, insisted that he play football only. Therefore I got to watch Jameus pitch relief at FSU and throw out runners at home plate while leading the 'Noles to a national football championship in 2013.

Now, consider the juxtaposition of the application of more's, standards, ethics however you want to slice the scenarios concerning this players conduct. Word comes that he had raped a student at FSU. A huge investigation resulting in charges comes rolling down the pike in Tallahassee. A very nationally focused trial occupies the sports news seemingly forever. The girl was a willing participant in the sex? She was brutally raped by a huge athlete? She was setting him up for a later pay day by her switching a consensual encounter to an alleged rape? As we know he was exonerated by a state attorney who was a big 'Noles fan. This young man was involved in Saturday night activity that goes on at any campus housing in any university setting all over the country. He just happened to be a national figure and the poor little fellow was victimized by the mean old press and the competition all over the country. We all know the rest of the story. He won the national championship in football and the Heisman and now counts his money, or what is left of it, after settling with the girl he allegedly raped back on the FSU campus in their civil law suit.

I just don't get it. In the SEC a coach gets fired for a one minute call to a Tampa escort service. Back in the ACC this Winston fellow does not miss a single down while being accused of a brutal crime. Not only does the ACC and FSU turn their backs on the situation the Heisman club awards their trophy to this player when there were countless nominees who had much less slimy resume's. Surely we have given up on there being any semblance of character in the awarding of the Heisman long ago with Cam Newton at Auburn.

Is there any more glaring of a double standard anywhere else? Yet we anticipate the kickoff of the season like we do the second coming. There is not a huge gap between watching college football and the Game of Thrones is there. Could it be that it is entertainment with total abandonment to the cause of ethics, morality and good taste? Could it be that it only matters that our team wins and wins often?

Roll Tide and pass the popcorn.