NCAA & NFL Reflections

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By the time the ball dropped in Times Square…officially ushering in 2016….there was far less excitement about college football’s championship trophy in Sooner Nation.  I am so proud of our guys for an amazing season!!  Alas, it was not meant to be. On the last day of 2015 it was the Clemson Tigers….led by Heisman nominee qb Deshaun Watson…proving to a captive national audience that their number one ranking was no fluke.

A new calendar year quite often triggers reflections on the way things were, how we handled them & how we’d do better going forward---football is no different:

It has recently occurred to me how much I don’t dislike the Crimson Tide of Alabama—I know surprised me too!  Upon deeper reflection, what I dislike—is the narrative about them and the SEC as a whole!

I’ve been watching football for 30 plus years….ummm, starting with a strategically placed playpen.  And I am certain that domination by any one team or conference is cyclical.  However, if an individual were to land on Earth today they’d think there was only one school and one conference. 

In many ways it is similar to politics.  Far too many times people listen on the surface, don’t bother to dig any deeper & base opinions on what has been fed to them.  The big difference is, taking that route in politics can have devastating consequences.  In sports—not so much!

Undoubtedly the SEC has dominated the championship rung recently.  Thing is….college football spans more than recent years.  If we let the narrative tell the story, there was never a USC, Miami, Michigan, Florida State, Notre Dame, Nebraska, or Oklahoma (of course), to name a few….

The narrative is the reason why Alabama played South Carolina-Charleston the 11th week of the season, and not one feather was ruffled.  Something tells me, had Clemson played a presumably cream puff team so late in the season there would be an outcry to remove their number one ranking! 

All of the Heisman nominees were deserving.  Hands down Christian McCaffrey of Stanford was most deserving of the win!!  But somehow the narrative of the SEC’s running game trumps that of the Pac-12 coupled with the fact that by the time Stanford games air…college fans on this coast were either celebrating a win or lamenting a loss.  Those with a Heisman vote though are charged with the responsibility of knowing the contenders.  And knowing McCaffrey surpassed Barry Sanders…lord of the running backs…in all purpose yards was all anyone really needed to know! 

Alabama is not responsible for the narrative.  They are good!  And for a sports news cycle that never ends…analysts have to talk and write about something or simply put---they aren’t working.  I’m definitely not in favor of the latter.  Instead, I opt to wade through the narrative and see the story as a whole. Just saying! 

 

With the new year begins the NFL’s Second Season—the playoffs.  Carolina and Arizona of the NFC are the frontrunners record wise ….the Seahawks though, have good old fashioned know-how & bear watching.  Same can be said for the AFC….Chiefs and Broncos are clicking—but after missing the last two postseason runs, the Steelers look as though they plan to stay awhile!!  

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