Since Wednesday night's scheduled baseball game was postponed due to inclement weather, now is as good a time as any to get you caught up on noteworthy events in the blogosphere, so grab hold of something and hang on, 'cause here we go:
- Not only did Bloggerpalooza '07 get a good review from Paul Westerdawg, it appears to be inspiring fans from other Southern schools, as well: Nico wants to schedule a similar get-together for the Alabama spring game. You have to love college football fans who tailgate competitively for offseason scrimmages.
- If you've ever wondered why I'm so quick to defend Damon Evans, this recent remark of his helps explain why:
Evans's words are as unequivocal as they are correct. While I thoroughly enjoy watching Thursday night football on E.S.P.N., scheduling such a contest on any day other than Thanksgiving does a disservice to fans, particularly those with families and jobs. The determination of Georgia's athletic director to keep the Bulldogs' games on Saturdays is commendable and he deserves credit for taking this stance.
On the other hand, if Orson Swindle ran a Georgia Tech weblog, it would be called "Every Day Should Be Thursday."
- Not since the drive to put up a billboard in Los Angeles belittling U.S.C.'s 2003 A.P. national championship have misguided college football fans come up with a notion as asinine as boycotting the Rose Bowl. Thankfully, College Football Resource and Senator Blutarsky are on the case.
- At the most absurd extreme of the anti-B.C.S. spectrum lie the nutjobs who claim to love college football so much that they hate one of its oldest traditions; at the opposite end of that gradient, we find reasonable and conscientious critics of the Bowl Championship Series, one of whom has compiled a list of this fall's likely B.C.S. busters. For my part, I'm all for giving deserving contenders their shot.
Believe me when I tell you that I wanted to vote them No. 1.
- Yesterday, Orson Swindle asked his on-line radio listeners to identify the sketchiest college athletics program ever. Uh, is that even a contest?
- Finally, Peter Bean has defended the University of Texas from the charge that the Longhorns' decision to publish a 272-page media guide deprives U.T. fans of the right to criticize other teams as scofflaw outfits. Peter takes the position that publishing an overly long media guide, while it violates N.C.A.A. regulations, is not comparable to genuine rule-breaking of the sort that occurs at, say, Auburn.
I hate Auburn.
With all due respect to Peter, he is entirely on the wrong track here. He is quite mistaken to attempt to minimize his favorite team's violation of N.C.A.A. rules; he needs to emphasize this flagrant flouting of this ludicrous regulation.
Effective in 2005, the N.C.A.A. instituted a rule to limit the length of a school's media guide. The rationale of these national nannies in Indianapolis was that schools blessed with long traditions, quality facilities, pleasant weather, and pretty co-eds were using their media guides to emphasize these facets of campus life, thereby gaining an unfair recruiting advantage over schools that lacked these attributes.
The N.C.A.A., indulging in the typical socialist fantasy of absolute egalitarianism (and accomplishing this objective 76 years ahead of schedule!), compelled Georgia to shorten its media guide from the 420-page behemoth that it was in 2004 to a lean 208 pages for 2005. This, reasoned Myles Brand and his sniveling minions, would force schools to cut the superfluous sections devoted to student recruitment and use their scant page allowance to list statistics and provide basic information for the news media to use.
It was a brilliant idea . . . to anyone who knows absolutely nothing about human nature, economics, or any other aspect of reality.
Where is Milton Friedman now that we need him?
The schools kept the portions of the media guide designed to appeal to prospective athletes and scanted the parts containing actual useful information. These practical data were relocated to the schools' websites, meaning that those of us who use a media guide as an encyclopedia of minutiae now encounter more difficulty in gleaning the requisite facts. In other words, the N.C.A.A. accomplished exactly the opposite of its objective by imposing an ill-conceived rule in furtherance of a goal of dubious worthiness.
I applaud Texas for publishing a media guide---in the spring, no less---that exceeds the idiotic page limitation imposed by a meddling sanctioning body that has far more important issues about which to worry. What will the N.C.A.A. do to these Lone Star State brigands? To what sanctions should the Longhorns be subject? Are probation, scholarship limitations, or fines proportional to the scarlet sin of publishing a media guide large enough to include actual media information? Oh, the horror, the horror!
Peter shouldn't be arguing that what Texas did is only an insignificant technical violation; he ought to be shouting from atop the Texas Tower, "Yeah, that's right . . . my team broke your little pansy rule! We decided 208 pages wasn't enough room to brag about our football heritage! You want to do something about it?"
Can they light this thing up to say "272" instead?
Frankly, I'm ashamed Georgia didn't do it first. I want to go back to a media guide with some heft to it. The 2004 Bulldog football media guide devoted seven pages to listing the starting offensive and defensive lineups since 1960, a dozen pages to listing every letterman in Georgia football history, and nine pages to listing Georgia's all-American players. There's an entire page dedicated to listing every game the 'Dawgs have ever played on artificial turf and three more taken up with a list of every televised game in Red and Black history.
I may never need that information, but it was there if I did . . . and, now, I have to look it up in my 2004 media guide, then piece it together for subsequent seasons. That, ladies and gentlemen, is your N.C.A.A. in action.
I salute Texas for recognizing that the 208-page limit was the dumbest numerical regulation since the Metric Conversion Act of 1975 and treating it accordingly. Brevity is a virtue only in those who have nothing worthwhile to say . . . and I offer that assertion from my vantage point as "college football's most verbose blogger." There are 118 other Division I-A schools that ought to follow the Longhorns' lead in this respect.
The revolution will not be televised . . . but it will take more than 208 pages to publish the manifesto!