Big Brother Sucks

The most wonderful time of year is about to begin and it seems a bit mellow.  A little too mellow for my taste…..

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College Football kicks off in less than a week and I have seen slim to none coverage of the sport on ESPN unless Johnny Football’s face is slapped on the screen, Nick Saban counting his crystal footballs or the greedy NCAA being sued for their Scrooge McDuck behavior.

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What seems to be the overshadowing Big Brother of College Football is, and always is, the NFL.  Forgive me if I am wrong though, but I distinctly remember a lot more ESPN College Football coverage including interviews with the coaches, players, highlights and season predictions for all the conferences.  I am well aware that ESPN fills in a half an hour slot at 1pm for College Football talk but I am strictly speaking of SportsCenter evening programming. You know, the evening show everybody and their mom watches before going to bed.

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(The more important question now is, how can you go to bed without watching Top Ten?)

I know it is the NFL pre-season, and NFL fans just loving telling non NFL fans the many reasons why the NFL is “better” than College Football: The NFL makes more money, the NFL is quicker, the NFL is more badass, the NFL is professional, the NFL does your laundry….the list of reasons can go on for ages.  But speaking as a College Football fan, I don’t care.

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I have been College Football for years now and ESPN has always been my dependable news source for the pre-season. I ask you, how the hell are you supposed to make realistic Heisman Trophy winner bets in Vegas now?! G Golly Wiz.

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After letting my frustration subside, there are three distinct reasons as to why I believe there is more NFL pre-season coverage than College Football pre-season coverage this year.

1. Johnny Manziel: The Kid Who Got Caught.

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Ever since Johnny Manziel won the Heisman Trophy as a freshman, the controversy hasn’t stopped.  All of his publicity and attention have been negative, from the day drinking to the busty women he hangs out with. The guy just can’t catch a break.  Unfortunately, his childish antics has severely put a dark cloud over college football, a cloud that won’t evaporate until Manziel proves himself on the field this season.

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Who cares if he is giving College Football players a bad rap.  He isn’t the first and he certainly won’t be the last.  Damn you social media and your trickster ways!

2. NCAA: Scrooge McDuck

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The NCAA this year has been going through hell (and rightfully so?).  First, six current college football players are suing the NCAA for what else?  MONEY. The players are suing the NCAA in hopes to expose their Scrooge McDuck persona to billions of dollars in damage.  The plaintiffs now demand the NCAA find a way to give players a cut of the billions of dollars earned from live broadcasts, memorabilia sales and video games. PSsshs, yah good luck with that fellas.

Damn, and I loved those video games too…

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Second, this is the last year of the BCS System before Playoffs are implemented in the 2014 season, the NCAA’s last hurrah of raking in the big cha-ching. Poor guys, they are so useless and don’t even know it.

3. The SEC Dominance

Once again, the SEC is expected to completely dominate the season.  SNORE. We get it, the dynasty is here….thank you Mr. Saban. Despite the SEC teams’ not so competitive schedules, everyone is convinced that this College Football Season will be an SEC season.

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No wonder nobody is really excited for this year’s upcoming College Football season. Without the excitement of upsets and unexpected cinderella stories, the season will drift off into SEC waters and never return.

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I hope my theories are BS. Please feel free to let me have it because College Football is my absolute favorite time of year and arguably the best sport 😛  (Don’t Hate!).  So here is hoping that the season will in fact not end up being a Johnny Manziel COPS special, or a Scrooge McDuck downfall or even an SEC snore of a season.  Let us expect a great season for the coaches and players, but more importantly the fans.

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The NFL can suck it.  Your season doesn’t start till September 8th.  Wait your turn.  Let the little guys shine for a week or so.

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Almost Famous

College Football.  The place where you go to kill your athletic popularity…….apparently.

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With all the shenanigans Johnny Manziel has been putting the NCAA through, we can never ask for our favorite College Football players’s autographs ever again.

In light of the NCAA investigation of whether Texas A&M’s star Heisman trophy winner Quarterback was paid to sign a butt load of memorabilia, the University has introduced a new policy for their college football program.

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The Aggies announced that players and coaches will not sign any memorabilia for fans attending the “Meet the Aggies” event Aug. 24. Basically a meet and greet with fans and college football admirers alike.

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Instead, the only autographs allowed will be on specially provided autograph cards, “in order to accommodate as many fans as possible.” All other items must be left at the door.

No other fun items such as jerseys, helmets, footballs or even photos can be signed.  That just leaves me all warm and fuzzy inside.  Thank you for keeping some money in my pockets, but seriously, what the hell is the point of getting an autograph on a card, a card I have to therefore frame and pay for to look nice in my manly library/lounge/man cave?  Thanks NCAA.  Nothing looks cooler than a signed football helmet.  Too legit to quit fasho.

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Texas A&M also said players and coaches would remain seated at the event and would not pose for photos.  DUDE…!!!! Might as well poke my eyes out before the season even starts.

Louisville took it to even more drastic measures…..

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They canceled their fan signing event all together in response to their head coach’s comments, calling the Manzeil situation a “national problem.”

Theses moves are being made because of ongoing concerns about college athletes and autograph sales, and neither mentioned Manziel by name.  Wait….what?! Why?!

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Johnny Manziel is THE problem.  This isn’t a concern involving the collective, it really is punishing everybody else for an individual’s actions.  Such BULLSH*T NCAA. You have been pulling this unethical crap for far too long.

Why punish the entire team, the coaches, the fans, the college and the sport for one, count it ONE, player’s mistake.  GOD help me if the NCAA does find Manziel guilty of taking the money and pin the blame on ‘lack of institutional control.’  Welcome to the Trojan club Aggies.  I warn you, it’s a depressing one.

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The ones who are truly suffering for all this are the fans.  The players will get over it, they will move on to the NFL making millions and appear in Madden 2015. The colleges will get over it because they will still make millions of dollars off their athletic programs.

Why should the fans be punished for this ‘lack of institutional control’? Why should the people who breathe the very life into college football not be able to celebrate their players by personally expressing their adoration for them?

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It all comes down to the Benjamins (of course).  If people didn’t come out of the wood work claiming to have profited from a collegiate sport in an ‘illegal’ fashion, then would we be in this situation?  The NCAA is already in hot water, immediately ending their ties with EA Sports because they themselves have been profiting from the football players without the players’ knowledge.  HMMMmmmMMMMmmm….monkey see monkey do…..?

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Just blows the mind to think that the NCAA is committing the same violation as these autograph shysters: Profiteering. We can’t escape the inevitable….but dammit, why do this before the season even starts?!

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Really sucks to be a college football fan now doesn’t it?

NFL Replacement Referees Running Ridiculous

It is safe to say the NFL replacement referees are in indeed a ridiculous bunch.

Ever since the quarrel between the NFL owners and referees over a management-labor situation…..basically a “who wants to earn the more money” situation.  Such a money-grubbing business……but then again that is all professional athletics.

The NFL owners don’t want to pay the Refs their hefty pension, pretty good deal for only working 16 games out of the year.  The owners want to roll back their pension.  Any employee no longer receiving the guaranteed money they were promised by their employers is going to cause some outbursts.  Then again, why are refs getting pension at all when they work once a week for less than half a year?  Dayum, sign me up.

The veteran refs said they have already planned their retirement based on this pension.  Fine.  Let those veteran refs get the pension and have the league hire new refs and get them off the pension.  Is it that hard to hire new refs, new reliable and experienced NFL refs?  Well, based on the performances of these new replacements refs……I guess it is.

These replacement refs are unfortunately not cutting it.  There are construction sites safer than NFL stadiums right now.  The refs have been calling terrible plays and sometimes not even calling plays at all, especially personal fouls.   This labor dispute is not only compromising the 32 arrogant NFL owners and 121 headstrong referees but more importantly the health and safety of the players.  You know, the big guys on the field who actually do the REAL work and PLAY the game!

This disagreement seems like it is going to lead to more than just empty pockets and angry faces, more or less some broken bones and broken spirits.  The responsibility shouldn’t be to your wallets, it should be to the safety of the players, the ones who draw the crowds, make the money, make the game!

The NFL’s effort to save money has made a mockery of the league and put its legitimacy into question.  Is the game of football really being tarnished by all of this??  The ones who are truly suffering in all of this are the players and spectators….you…the audience…the fans!

Some officials as well as players are so frustrated by the situation that they can’t keep their mouth shut.  One former official, Jerry Markbreit, blasted the league this last week claiming that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell just doesn’t care, “”It’s obvious to me that (Goodell) just doesn’t even care. Otherwise, how could they replace professionalism with unprofessionalism in a game that’s so tough to work, even for the best officials in the land? How could he care about it?”

Markbreit is confident that the refs and the league officiating will inevitably deteriorate, “”These guys have relied on competent, top-notch, terrific officials all these years. And now they have a bunch of amateurs out there and it’s going to fall apart.  It’s not going to get better, as the commissioner said … It’s going to get worse.”

Great, sounds like a party.  In the replacement refs defense, defensive linemen for the New York Giants Justin Tuck said it best, placing the blame on the NFL for this unfortunate predicament, “I am more upset with the NFL for not handling this and taking care of this in due time, I guess. I think the replacement officials are doing their best in a very sticky situation for them.”  Very true….very true. These refs aren’t trying to fail and make terrible calls, they are just in a newer bigger and badder arena.  They aren’t used to the NFL and are probably scared shitless to even step foot next to Ray Lewis.  But for the rest of us, we are just used to the best officiating and don’t want to settle for anything less.  The NFL is forcing us to settle……bastards……and we just have to bite our tongue and pray that a resolution will be made sooner rather than later…..Let the good times roll boys.  Oh wait, Jerry Jones has something to say….

The wannabe George Steinbrenner of the NFL, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, expressed different sentiments about the situation, downplaying the impact the replacement refs are having on the football games, “You’ve got to remember that you’ve got all kinds of complaints at any time about officiating,” Jones said Tuesday on KRLD-FM. “Did you happen to notice that the ones that were complaining the most, if it were from within, were the players and coaches on the losing teams? Hello. I don’t even have to look at the games or the dates on the newspaper, just hand me one from 30 years ago and it’ll be the same thing — they’re complaining about the officiating.”

Hmmmmm.. sorry Mr. Jones I beg to differ.  Yes, I agree that it is inevitable that coaches and players will often disagree with officials and their decisions, but this is quite a different matter.  This matter is jeopardizing the integrity of the game.  The calls these refs are making aren’t just some lousy calls for fan interference or excessive celebration, these are a lack of calls that can lead to harmful outcomes for the players.  The safety of the players should be the number one priority of everyone involved in the NFL.  Even the hot dog vendors at Candlestick park want Alex Smith to be well protected and healthy.  If he doesn’t get a call for roughing the passer or holding and in consequence breaks his nose or elbow…..then we have a problem.

The poor officiating has created an unstable environment that is going to get somebody badly injured.  The owners and refs need to make a compromise, for God sakes…..no wait…the PLAYERS sake.   So players can get back to the real work without the worry of ridiculous referees running the show into the ground.  Do it for the dedicated fans who not only bring you the cha-ching but give the games the passion and emotion that unites everyone, making the sport of football special and important.  Come on, this is the NFL, it should start acting like it.