Thursday is the first day of the rest of your weekend, and, if you're like me, you're settling in for what I hope will be a good game between Rutgers and South Florida. There are many reasons to watch---this just in: Jenn Sterger roots for the Bulls!---but, before we get too caught up in tonight's Big East showdown, let's take the time to note, and then overlook, the national game of disinterest.
Cormac McCarthy, for one, has pledged to express his primeval disdain for the national game of disinterest using searing Old Testament prose that leaves the weekend's least intriguing college football contest lying scorched and brittle beneath the blistering noonday sun as the unrelenting hot breath of the desert wind batters the parched fragments of the game's desiccated husk, sending them wafting jerkily in crazed random patterns, seared and blackened, like ashes drifting upwards in brutal gusts from the hard dark heart of the raging inferno at the molten core of the uncivilized beast writhing hungrily and furiously inside every man presumptuous enough to think himself domesticated.
As you know, it is a point of pride with me that I can find a reason to choose up sides in almost any college football game, but, each week, there is one game---or, in this case, there are two games---so inconsequential, between teams that are so indistinguishable, that I cannot bring myself to care enough to make the call.
This week's national games of disinterest are . . .
Florida Atlantic at Louisiana-Lafayette
Florida International at Louisiana-Monroe
Go on, I dare you. I double-dog dare you. I defy you to prove to me that this is not the same game being played simultaneously in two different places.
The two Sunshine State programs you couldn't differentiate from one another if your life depended upon it are taking on the former Northeast Louisiana and Southwest Louisiana, and you couldn't tell which was which with an atlas, a compass, and a scorecard.
If a transporter malfunction occurred while F.A.U. was being beamed to Lafayette, La., the visiting team would materialize in a parallel universe as F.I.U. and would play a U.L.M. team made up of players with goatees.
I guarantee you that, five minutes prior to kickoff in each of these games, one player for each team will turn to the guy standing beside him during the national anthem and say, "Which one are we playing again?"
The likely reply will be, "Heck, I'm not even 100 per cent sure which one we are!"
If both of the teams in your game are easily mistaken for each of the teams in a completely different game somewhere else, your game is, by definition, one of the two mirror-image national games of disinterest.