Has College Football Peaked?

There is a report on CBSsports.com this morning by Dennis Dodd posing the question:

    Has college football peaked?

I certainly hope not but clearly, the sport cannot continue hope to grow at the rate that it has grown over the past decade. The report cites several “issues” facing college football. One of them is that students stay home from games when it is raining – not because they are smart enough to come in out of the rain – because one cannot text/tweet in the rain. If that observation is correct, that has serious implications for college football and all spectator sports.

If a fan chooses to be in a place where texting/tweeting is possible over being at a game in the rain, that means the game is a relatively unimportant event in their view. After all, texting/tweeting can be done just about every waking hour; if a football game is not sufficiently interesting to have a fan forego something he/she can do about 100 hours a week, then indeed college football may have peaked.

The report says that there were empty seats at the Alabama/Auburn game this year. Students bought the tickets and then stayed away. If that game is insufficient to fill the house, then indeed, college football may have peaked.

Personally, I think that college football is starting to suffer from the same thing that ails college basketball. There is too much of it on TV; even dedicated football fans are sated; moreover, there is more to come as new sports networks come into existence and need “content” to fill up 168 hours a week.

The report on CBSsports.com mentions the number of bowl games and the “fatigue factor” that sets in as one contemplates a game between a pair of 6-6 teams. If you have been a reader here for a while, you know that I pay no attention at all to such games and I do like college football a lot.

This is a story that is worth reading in its entirety.

Another report this morning says that Jets’ owner Woody Johnson told GM candidates that the Tim Tebow trade last year was “forced on him”. Really? He owns the team; if he says no trade, then there is no trade. If one of his underlings can force him to do something that he does not want to do or thinks is deleterious to the organization – sort of the position he would like to take now – one has to ask how effective a leader he must be. By the way, now that he has said that, why is Tim Tebow still on the roster? If I am to believe Johnson’s recent statements, he now knows that the trade was a disaster and he was “forced into” doing something bad for the team.

    Memo to Woody Johnson: OK, now that you have recognized those “facts”, the beginnings of the solution to the problem are pretty obvious and after all, you are the owner of the team with final say on who the team has on its payroll.

    Waiting…

Earlier this month, Jake Lamotta former boxing champion was married for the seventh time. La Motta is 90 years old; his wife is 60 years old. When a 90-year old person marries for the seventh time, that has to be a triumph of expectation over experience, no?

According to reports, Alex Rodriguez has successful and uneventful hip surgery last week. Clearly, that is good news. However, the timing of the surgery seems strange to me. I recall the diagnosis that A-Rod would need this surgery coming soon after the World Series had concluded; that would put it in the mid-November timeframe. The rehab period for the surgery is said to be 5-7 months. So, how come the delay until January?

An attorney in Florida is suing the San Antonio Spurs under the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act over the time when the Spurs sent four players home early from a road trip and did not have them play in Miami against the Heat. The complaint argues that this attorney paid premium prices for the Spurs’ game since they are a top-tier team and that he did not get to see the real Spurs’ team since the stars were not there. I read a report that said the definition of an “unfair and deceptive practice” in that Florida law is:

“…one that offends established public policy and is immoral, unethical, oppressive, unscrupulous or substantially injurious to consumers.”

One can agree with the Spurs’ decision not to play those four players or not, but I have a difficult time seeing how that decision meets any of those criteria. Again, I am not an attorney, but it would seem to me that the fact that this guy had to pay a premium price for his ticket to that game is a beef he has with the Miami Heat and not with the San Antonio Spurs. It was the Heat who created the multi-level pricing scheme for tickets that he bought into not the Spurs.

It will be interesting to see how the NBA itself becomes involved in this case. Recall that David Stern fined the Spurs $250K for resting those four players in that game. It would be very interesting to have David Stern under oath and to hear his comments about this situation…

Greg Cote of the Miami Herald had his own view of this lawsuit and channeled Carnac the Magnificent to express it:

“Answer: A suit filed in Miami-Dade claims the Spurs resting starters against the Heat in November violated Florida’s fair trade practices law.

Question: What do you mean Americans are overly litigious?”

Finally, one more thought from Greg Cote:

“Parting thought: True story. Tennis star Novak Djokovic plans to open a restaurant whose specialty will be cheese made from donkey milk. The only thing I’d like less than to try that cheese is to milk that donkey.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………

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Comments

  • Rich  On January 22, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    If the Yankees were wise enough to insure A-Rod’s salary in the event of injury, and he missed an entire season due to the surgery, wouldn’t the team be entitled to collect the benefit? The payment would be passed on to the player, and the organization could save a few million hogs. I don’t know if they carry such insurance, but his entire contract is for hundreds of millions bucks. This scenario could unfold just as the club is trying to cut down on their salary expenses.

    • The Sports Curmudgeon  On January 22, 2013 at 3:08 pm

      Rich:

      I believe the Yankees’ intent on lowering their payroll is to get under the luxury tax figure. If that is the case, then the insurance does not help them.

      At the same time, A-Rod has some big bonus clauses in his contract should he reach certain home-run levels sometime in the future. Perhaps there was some monetizing of those bonuses now in exchange for a delay? I have no idea if that is the case, but the timing there just seems odd to me…

  • Ed  On January 22, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    hey, didn’t the Marlins just get a stadium financed with tax money then perform a huge salary dump? Is that againt fair trade?

    • The Sports Curmudgeon  On January 22, 2013 at 3:09 pm

      Ed:

      What the Marlins did would fall under the umbrellas of “immoral” and “unethical” were I on the jury in a suit against them…

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