Sometimes, I can’t handle the Truths
Stick with me today. This column is going to meander and drift and eventually land on a truth. Unfortunately it won’t be an NFL Truth. That column, perhaps my most popular column shtick, may have died an accidental death.
I read my emails and Twitter feed. I hear my editors chirping in my ear.
People want my NFL Truths column to return to its regular Thursday rotation. It had been a staple of my column routine since my days at ESPN.com and AOL Sports. Me and the NFL Truths go way back. It was a good loyal soldier.
It appears it was collateral damage when I upped my responsibilities here at FOXSports.com this summer.
I’m writing more often. Sometimes three and four times a week. I write an NFL-related column pretty much every Monday. I usually fire again on Tuesday or Wednesday. This week I wrote a Monday column about Rex Ryan and a Tuesday column about Brett Favre.
The key to writing a good, provocative NFL Truths column filled with original ideas and perspective was time to reflect. The column ran on Thursdays for a reason. It took three or four days of reflection and talking with football junkies to come up with my points.
Generally speaking, by Thursday I could come up with two unique and provocative points that would carry the column, four or five decent filler opinions, one good take on college football and a couple of humorous jabs. Bam, there are your 10 NFL Truths.
Well, this week, like a lot of weeks, I’ve unloaded my best stuff before Thursday. The Brett Favre-Muhammad Ali column I wrote on Tuesday would’ve been an outstanding top to my NFL Truths column. So would the Monday column I wrote connecting Rex Ryan to an immature culture undermining the New York Jets.
Believe it or not, analogizing a Mississippi, good-ol’-boy quarterback to a black Muslim, revolutionary boxer takes a boatload of creative energy. I picked the brains of a lot of Jets followers before realizing Rex Ryan’s swagger-heavy coaching style was the thread unraveling New York’s second football team.
And I haven’t even mentioned that I’m immersed in the NBA regular season at a level I haven’t been since Magic Johnson’s original retirement coincided with me moving away from my home state and leaving my beloved Indiana Pacers. I lost my favorite player and favorite team at the same time.
My point is, since signing on to be a full-time national columnist at FOXSports.com, it’s not easy to pump out a weekly, singularly focused column. I’m trying to keep track of the entire sports world. I’m writing more frequently.
I believe in original ideas. They’re rare and valuable because they require thought and insight, not a formula.
Today’s column was supposed to be the NFL Truths. That’s what I told my editors I was writing. I couldn’t write one that met my standards. The leftover NFL topics — Michael Vick wanting a pet dog, Terrell Owens blasting Bengals ownership and Marvin Lewis, Tashard Choice asking Vick for an autograph, etc. — bored me.
You know what caught my attention Wednesday as I scoured the internet researching ideas for an NFL Truths column?
Mark Cuban wanting to build and pay for a college football playoff system.
He’s reading the book "Death to the BCS" and, like a smart billionaire, he’s figured out a way to make money off college athletes and create the appearance he’s doing it for the good of the country.
That’s capitalism at its highest level. Package your product in a way that fools the consumer into believing it’s good for them. Most Americans have no idea Ronald McDonald is killing their kids. No clue.
Trust me, I believe in capitalism and I’m making every effort to become a billionaire.
But Division I college football doesn’t need more capitalism. Capitalism is a slave to the bottom line. An overdose on capitalism is what created the gross inequities and widespread corruption that is now pervasive throughout the NCAA.
What really ails NCAA football and basketball is the people controlling the system and the people defining the conversation about the NCAA are not pushing the organization to be slaves to the athletes who drive the revenue.
I have not read "Death to the BCS". I know and respect two of its authors, Dan Wetzel and Jeff Passan. A copy of the book has been sitting on my desk for close to a month. I’ve been reluctant to read it because I don’t believe college football needs a playoff system.
I played college football. Most of my closest, lifelong friends played college football, too. I’ve spent most of my life around current and former college athletes, particularly football and basketball players.
There are no quality of life differences between basketball and football players related to participating in a playoff system.
Let me keep it all the way real. The beer, the weed, the women and the education enriched college basketball and football players equally.
The push for a college football playoffs has zero to do with the athletes. It’s a good radio segment, blog post, column and book concept. You can spin the argument like you’re doing it for the good of the country. No different from Ronald McDonald standing on every corner slanging your 5-year-old a Happy Meal.
I’m not really for or against the BCS. I’m against solutions that don’t address the real problem. The NCAA system isn’t set up to serve the participants. Sometimes what “fans” want isn’t what’s most important.
I’m going to stop here. I’m going to read "Death to the BCS" this weekend and write a column about the book next week.
I’m sorry I don’t write the NFL Truths column regularly anymore. I’ll make an effort to give you something better.