Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Most Profitable Brothel on Earth, The NCAA

The NCAA needs to be fired. It is slowly ruining everything that is great about collegiate athletics. I'm not going to get into the bowl games vs. playoffs debate, nor am I going to comment on the numerous things that are wrong with the BCS. I'm talking about how watered down and meaningless the postseason has become.

I remember a time when getting an invitation to a bowl game used to mean something. It was a sign of an accomplishment, something to be proud of. It was a showcase for the best teams in the country and a reward for a season well played. New Years Day featured four bowl games, the Rose, Orange, Sugar and Cotton. Playing on New Years Day meant you were the best of the best. This is all a thing of the past now, thanks to the NCAA succumbing to the almighty advertising dollar. Now there are 14 bowl games on or after New Years Day, fourteen. Included in these 14 games last season were can't miss match ups like Central Michigan vs. Troy, South Florida vs. Northern Illinois, Connecticut vs. South Carolina and a 6-6 Florida St team playing West Virginia. A team that doesn't even have a winning record playing in a bowl game on the same day as the Rose and Sugar bowls, disgusting!!

To put it into perspective, Florida St had lost two more games going into their New Years Day bowl game in 2009 than every single team playing on New Years Day in 1979 combined. 10-0-1 USC against 11-0 Ohio St in the Rose, 10-1 Houston against 10-1 Nebraska in the Cotton, 10-1 Oklahoma against 11-0 Florida St in the Orange and 11-0 Alabama vs. 10-1 Arkansas in the Sugar. Now we get 6-6 teams, match ups of 7-5 teams, and if we're really lucky we might get a 9-3 vs. 8-4 match up. Good times.

It's going to get worse. In 1995 there were 18 bowl games, which meant of course that 36 teams went to bowl games. About 30% of the teams in 1A college football made a bowl game. In the upcoming season, there is going to be 35 bowl games, or 70 teams. Nearly 60% of the teams will be playing in a bowl game. It's practically inevitable that we will soon be seeing a team with a losing record in a bowl game (it has already happened one time before). If teams with a losing record are getting invited to a bowl game, then getting an invitation to a bowl game really doesn't mean much, does it? We managed to win 5 of our 12 games, pack your bags boys, we're going to a New Years Day bowl game. Teams with a losing record have no business whatsoever playing in a bowl game. Teams that don't have a winning record have no business whatsoever playing in a bowl game. The NCAA puts countless teams on probation for players receiving inappropriate funds, and turns around and sells out the postseason to any advertiser with a bank account.

To come to the conclusion that the NCAA has put making a buck a higher priority than the integrity of college football, one needs to look no further than the names of the bowl games themselves. The Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, Champs Sports Bowl, Eagle Bank Bowl, GMAC Bowl, Meineke Car Care Bowl, Papa Bowl, Bowl, Outback Bowl and the Capital One Bowl. Even the most prestigious bowl games have sold their soul, the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, the Allstate Sugar Bowl, and the FedEx Orange Bowl. The Rose Bowl attempted to save its' dignity by claiming it does not have a sponsor, that it is merely presented by a company or product. The Rose Bowl Presented by AT&T, The Rose Bowl Presented by Play Station 2, and currently The Rose Bowl Presented by Citi. Nice play on words, but if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's a duck. Ten years from now it will be the Southern California Edison Rose Bowl presented by Nintendo Game Boy.

The NCAA didn't stop there however, ruining college football's postseason wasn't good enough. They decided it was a good idea to expand the NCAA March Madness Tournament to 68 teams. I guess 64 wasn't enough, they needed to bring in some more teams. After all, since 1985 when the Tournament expanded to 64 games, the #16 seed is 0-104 and the #15 seed is 4-100. Add that up, a combined 4-204 record out of the bottom two seeds in 25 years ... and adding more teams is a good idea. They really wanted to expand it to 96 teams, but caved in after college basketball fans loudly protested that 96 teams would water down the field. This is why the NCAA gets away with garbage like this, because fans complain that 96 is too many. Fans should've been complaining that 64 is too many. Actually, I guess it's 65, huh? Two teams play a game to see who will be the 64th seed. Look on the bright side though, thanks to the 14 year 10.3 billion dollar deal the NCAA just inked, we can watch all 4,872 games of the Tournament on TV. Well, maybe you can ... I'm not going to. I have better things to do than watch two worthless teams playing each other for the right to be slaughtered by a #1 seed. Just in case you missed that, that was 10.3 billion, with a B. It's no wonder why the NCAA cracks down so hard on schools when their players receive any money, they want all of the money to themselves. It's a damned shame I can't buy stock in the NCAA.

The bowl games have become unwatchable, and March Madness has become unwatchable. Collegiate athletics used to stand for something, it was everything that is pure about sports. A bunch of kids with no chance of playing professional sports, giving it everything they have on the field or court, playing for the love of the game. Now you can't even pick that message up anymore ... you're too busy being brainwashed about which pizza to eat, or insurance company to use, or which credit card, or where to take your car to get it fixed, or how to finance your vehicle, or ... or ... or ... or ... or ... or ... or ... or ...

So welcome to the Bunny House Brothel, Madam NCAA has a collection of nice sports for the right price.