Tuesday, January 5, 2010

College Football and Figure Skating

Why do so many sports fans dislike figure skating?  Yes, there's the glitter and the music and the dancing, but it's really because the sport is 'judged.'  After a skater competes, his or her score is determined by a panel of judges.

A real sport, the argument goes, is determined on the field of play between the competitors.  The better athlete or team wins.  It's about objectivity rather than subjectivity.

Football, as opposed to figure skating, is considered by these very same fans a real sport.  It's a collision sport, fought on a gridiron by men.

And yet the highest level of college football is no better than figure skating.

Read this article by ESPN's Gene Wojciechowski.  He watched last night's Fiesta Bowl (sorry, "Tostitos Fiesta Bowl") and he didn't care about a winner and a loser.  He wanted something subjective to rate, an overwhelming performance by one of the teams that would convince him that that team deserved to be National Champion.

Unfortunately for Gene, Boise State did not dominate TCU.

Instead, they merely won.

It was a gritty defensive-oriented game, an ugly game, and the Broncos earned the victory.  Should they apologize for finishing the season 14-0?

And if the point of a football game is to look pretty, why is bruising Alabama anywhere near Thursday night's BCS Title game?

Perhaps the Romanian judge was more impressed by the Tide's Crimson ensemble than by Boise State's blue and fluorescent orange.

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