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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Banshee Blitz

It's been about 2 months since I've done a Banshee Blitz.  Since that time, a lot of things have happened in the sports world.  I've been a little preoccupied with watching football to many posts.  So, here are some quick thoughts on a few hot topics.

Never Ending NASCAR:  A couple weeks ago, I started writing a column questioning the legitimacy of NASCAR as a real sport in the wake of the pre-chase debacle at Richmond and the subsequent corrective measures taken by Brian France in order to restore what he perceived to be the proper order.  But, before I could really get the column researched and edited properly, I lost interest.  I realized then that the real story here is not how NASCAR operates but that the NASCAR season is way too long.  Don't get me wrong, I still tune in to the fall races.  But only in between the other sporting events of October.  NASCAR begins in February and lasts through the middle of November.  That makes it way longer than even the baseball season.  Sports fans have the entire month of August with nothing to talk about besides their fantasy football drafts.  Instead of filling that block of time with the Chase for the Cup, NASCAR insists on having their playoffs compete with regular season NBA and NHL games and the Major League Baseball playoffs ... not to mention the juggernaut of professional and college football.  I realize that there are a lot of financial considerations that go into this.  But, I did take Econ 101 in college.  And, it seems to me that NASCAR's supply greatly exceeds its demand.

(Tony Avelar/AP)
Breast Cancer is Bad: I think we can all agree that breast cancer is bad.  Really, really bad.  And, I think we can all agree that raising money for cancer research is a worthy goal.  But, can we also agree that the invasion of pink in the NFL makes October games downright difficult to look at?  Every year in October, the NFL encourages the players and officials to wear pink accessories during the games.  This is in addition to giant pink ribbons being painted on the field and pink padding being put on every goal post.  Evidently these pink towels and socks somehow raise money, but no one seems to know exactly how that happens.  What we do know is that hot pink combined with Redskins burgundy or Broncos orange is a hideous site.  Thank goodness that the league at least admitted the error of its ways regarding the pink penalty flags and will be going back to traditional yellow for the rest of the month..

MLB Hides the Ball:  In an effort to make sure that no playoff games competed with each other for television airtime, MLB staggered all of the start times in the first round.  In theory, this is a good idea.  MLB doesn't want to have to compete with itself for viewers.  But with four series going on at once, this plan required half of the games to be played in the afternoons.  That made it nearly impossible for people with jobs to watch at least half of the games.  And that's on the East Coast.  On the West Coast, it's even worse.  In the future, MLB should divide the NL and AL between two networks and allow viewers to use their remote controls.  That way fans could watch half of every game instead of none of half the games.

(Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
The Beards of Summer:  Take a look around any college campus and you can see that beards are back in style.  But the Boston Red Sox are taking facial hair to a whole new level. I really can't decide if I love these beards or hate them.  It's worth noting, though, that despite all the whiskers, the 2013 edition of the Sox is not an unkempt looking bunch of slobs like the 2004 team.  There's no scraggly hair here.  And there are no sloppy neck beards.  These guys all have nicely trimmed but extremely long beards.  But, in all seriousness, these guys could go directly from the clubhouse to a Civil War reenactment or an Amish barn raising.

Condi on the Committee:  Twitter was all abuzz the last few days over the announcement that Condoleeza Rice will be on the committee of folks who will decide which college football teams will be playing in the 4-team playoff that starts next year.  A couple men who have football credentials and therefore access to the national airwaves stated that Ms. Rice has no business on the selection committee since she never played the game of football.  As a girl who often writes about male sports, I take a little umbrage at that opinion.  And, as a politically conservative woman in the South, Condoleeza Rice is one of my personal heroes.  Regardless of your political affiliation, Dr. Rice's biography is impressive.  I fully endorse her long-stated desire to be the first female commissioner of the National Football League.  And yet, I agree that Condi should not have a vote on who should win the college football national championship.  Why?  Because no one should have a vote on a tiny 4-team playoff.  I don't care if you're a former coach, an AD or a fan like Dr. Rice.  We've already seen the controversy that surrounds the selection committee that assembles the field for March Madness.  And that controversy is over what team should have been a 9th or 10th seed in a 68-team field.  The idea that any committee can satisfactorily select the four teams that get to contend for the college football championship is absurd.  Banshee Sports has previously proposed a revamped system for selecting a national champion.  The changes I proposed were met with several critics stating that college football should not be changed since it is already the greatest thing on the sports landscape.  Well, change is coming whether we like it or not.  The only question is whether we'd rather have the Condi Rice selection committee or a system that actually makes some sense.

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