As we begin the month of September, be forewarned that this is going to be a schizophrenic month:
Sept 5 is “Be Late For Something Day”. I know some people who celebrate this day 365 days a year; they avoid punctuality like poison ivy.
Sept 6 is “Fight Procrastination Day”. These celebrants need to work with the chronically tardy folks mentioned above to create a weeklong festival.
Ten years ago, if anyone had suggested to me that this was going to happen, I would have said he/she was smoking some really high quality “stuff”. However, consider the reports that say Chung-an University in South Korea will now consider video gamers as student athletes. Professional gaming – evidently – is a big deal in S. Korea so competition at the collegiate level is somewhat analogous to college football and basketball here. I can see it now; there is a Korean analog to Mel Kiper Jr. who is out there gathering information on thumb length, reflex times, lateral eye movement and bladder capacity for Korean collegiate gamers in order to project them into the pro ranks.
A friend of mine – of the female persuasion – who is a basketball fan in general and a women’s basketball fan in particular, took umbrage with my pointing out that 5 of the 8 teams in the WNBA playoffs had sub-.500 records in the regular season. She sent a note last week telling me to check out the Canadian Football League standings for the Eastern Conference there. She pointed out – correctly – that the WNBA is not the only place where a couple of teams dominate the rest of the teams in the league. Standing sufficiently chastised, here are the CFL standings as of today:
Toronto Argonauts 3-6
Montreal Alouettes 2-7
Hamilton Ti-Cats 1-6
Ottawa Redblacks 1-8
Calgary Stampeders 7-1
Edmonton Eskimos 7-1
Sask. Roughriders 7-2
Winnipeg B-Bombers 6-4
Brit. Col. Lions 5-4
It would appear as if winning football has been outlawed in Ontario and Quebec for this year…
Last week, before any college football games happened, Bob Molinaro had this column in the Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot on the subject of the excessive “Heisman Chatter” that had begun well before the column appeared which was before any college football games… This is a column you should read in its entirety. Here is a sample paragraph:
“Today it’s hard to differentiate between a school’s publicity campaign on behalf of a player and the relentless speculation and promotion of the candidates by TV and the Internet. They’ve become almost one and the same.”
The NFL kicks off for real this week. There is a new wrinkle in the NFL TV schedule. The Sunday games on FOX and CBS are unchanged; so are the Sunday Night games on NBC; Monday Night Football continues to reside on ESPN. However, there are now Thursday Night games every week but the telecasts are shared.
Week 1 (4 Sept): The game is on NBC
Weeks 2-8 (11 Sept – 23 Oct): Games are on CBS
Week 9-12 (30 Oct – 20 Nov): Games are on NFL Network
Week 13 (Thanksgiving): Games are on CBS, FOX and NBC
Week 14-16 (4 Dec – 18 Dec) Games are on NFL Network
Week 17: No Thursday night game.
Moreover, the NFL will reprise one of its practices from years ago this season. They used to put on Saturday games after the college football season concluded but somehow that disappeared from the scheduling in the past several years. This year in Week 16, there will be 2 games on Saturday afternoon and CBS will televise both of them.
With November being one of the ratings sweeps months, you can be sure that CBS will be flogging the new shows they will put on the air in November once their early season package of NFL games cedes to NFL Network. I suspect the thinking at CBS is that the NFL games will dominate the ratings through September and October preventing shows on other networks from gaining big followings until CBS can debut their new programming. It is an interesting programming gambit.
Finally, I referred you to a Bob Molinaro column above so let me close with another of his observations in the Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot:
“Priorities: It’s the business of athletics departments to worry about moderately declining college football attendance, but when that’s stacked up against rising student fees, exorbitantly priced text books, tuition that grows at 2-1/2 times the national inflation rate and graduates leaving with massive debt, it’s embarrassing to make a fuss over a few empty seats on Saturday.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………