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In Sports Commentary

The folks who preside over the BCS have no intention of starting a playoff.

Congress should leave college football, BCS alone


There are a few things in this world that you don't ever want to hear.

"Hi, this is Bob from the IRS. Is this a good time to talk?"

You don't want to get a letter that begins, "Dear Sir. The results of your AIDS test have come back and we'd like you to call to make an immediate appointment with our office to discuss them."

Or, how about being the guys who run college football and you get this message: "Hi. We are the Congress of the United States and we are here to help."

The last one isn't all that funny, since that is essentially the message that came out of a hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee commerce, trade and consumer protection subcommittee last week.

We live, as Barack Obama never tires of telling us, in challenging times. Like most Americans, I want the best and the brightest working tirelessly, day and night, with a wonderful spirit of cooperation, to solve our problems.

We've got two wars going on and the very real possibility of a third and fourth on the horizon with North Korea and Iran.

Our economy is in shambles. Suddenly, by virtue of being a taxpayer, I own a piece of a few huge banking establishments and one slightly used car company.

The planet is getting warmer, the polar ice cap is melting (although I still don't know why I should care about this one, even though I do) and greenhouse gases may choke my grandchildren.

The health care system seems broken beyond repair, doctors and hospitals (especially here in southeastern Wisconsin) charge way too much, and as I get older my aches and pains have become much more pronounced and in need of that expensive medical care.

That's a lot of specific problems. Plus, the fact that there seems to be a lot of hate and fear between people in this world, there's a flu bug running around that might or might not make lots of people have runny noses and a cough and Taylor Swift is a big-time music star even though she makes me wince.

Bad stuff, but it will get better, as long as people pay attention to the problems and don't get sidetracked by stuff that really doesn't matter.

LIKE THE BCS BOWL DILEMMA IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL!!!!!

Congress is actually spending time, money and brainpower figuring out how it can force college football mucky-mucks to have a playoff system. One congressman from Texas, Joe Barton, has introduced legislation that would make it illegal for the NCAA to call a game a national championship unless it was the result of a playoff.

Like the man said when I drunkenly stumbled into this Tex-Mex music bar in Austin: "Get the hell out of here."

I know Obama said during the campaign that he favored a playoff system for college football. But that was more about proving his bona fides as a real sports fan than it was a call for legislative initiative.

We get it. Obama likes sports, both playing and watching.

Now, let's get on to the real business of life in Washington, D. C.

The guys who run the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) and pick their teams based on national poll rankings along with six computer categories aren't the greatest guys in the world. But it's their game.

I have a very good friend who was a judge when Summerfest tried to kick the midway off the grounds. My friend was the trial judge in the case. He loved the midway. But he ruled in favor of Summerfest. "It's always about who gets to decide," he said. Legally, Summerfest had the right to make the decision, right or wrong.

That's kind of what we've got here. The BCS boys have the rights. They control the money and the game. You don't like it? Tough. It's the only game in town.

Don't get me wrong -- I am strongly in favor of a college football playoff. I probably was in favor of it even before Obama was in favor of it. There's only one thing in the world of sports I want more than a college football playoff.

That's for the United States Congress to do what we pay them to do and stay the hell out of the world of sports.

Talkbacks

WeDemandPlayoffs.com | May 12, 2009 at 7:06 p.m. (report)

Do college football bowl games generate hundreds of millions of revenue every year? Is that revenue restricted based on rules set up by a small majority of teams that prevents a major block from reaching the minority? Do most if not all teams and their parent institutions receive federal funds? The answer to all three questions is Yes. This is why Congress *should* be involved, because receipients of monies they dole out aren't playing fair with the others. And it's a HUGE amount of money we're talking about. Or are you suggesting the US Goverment should play favorites?

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captain | May 12, 2009 at 5:07 p.m. (report)

Another horrible sports article by Bagel. Corinna, go play in traffic!

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corrina252 | May 12, 2009 at 4:04 p.m. (report)

You inferior liberals/socialists love the intrusion of government into anything so I would assume you would love it if your messiah, lord obama, poked his socialist beak into college football as well.

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zipper | May 12, 2009 at 11:53 a.m. (report)

While I'd like to see congress work on something more important, the very matter of "important" is subjective to the audience. Paying attention to football is a token act to show voters that Congress cares about you, the little guy. (they don't) This issue isn't entirely frivolous, as it: 1) Reinforces the notion that the Government can and will regulate sports monopolies. The BCS may have the money and the game, but it's due to the fact that the government allows exclusive rights and profit sharing that would otherwise be illegal in many competitive industries. 2) Increases taxable cash flow. If a football playoffs makes more money for everyone in the food chain (not just the BCS), it means more taxable revenue. The income stream of college football is not insignificant, and I'll take any tax offset we can get. Someone has to pay the bill for America's services.

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wiscoleeds | May 12, 2009 at 8:38 a.m. (report)

Yes, our very own Herb Kohl, who is chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy, and Consumer Rights will be heading up the hearing on the BCS. Madness! Voters need to think about this next time this buffoon is up for re-election. Career politicians..... But at least he gives us a competitive NBA team year in and year out. Cheers Wiscoleeds

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