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Posted: Wednesday January 7, 2009 3:11PM; Updated: Wednesday January 7, 2009 3:11PM

Quick Slants (cont.)

YOU CANNOT ESCAPE THE TOMFOOLERY OF PAUL MAGUIRE

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I've opined on several occasions in this space about ESPN's inane utilization of commentator Paul Maguire. In short, it seems they've made a game of having him announce games from the oddest nooks and crannies of each venue. I've wondered if they were secretly trying to get him to quit until a few weeks ago, when he found himself back in the booth. But during last Wednesday's runaway Chic-Fil-A Bowl, Maguire was up to his old tricks, zooming around with the sideline camera, making over-obvious comments and, in general, adding nothing but good nature to the broadcast. It's the worst-kept circus in broadcasting.

However, New Year's Eve brought a new twist: A wacky silver hat! How festive! In all honestly, Maguire looked like one of the kids in Signs who tried to ward off aliens by wearing tin foil hats. Is anyone else eagerly anticipating the day they dress Maguire as a clown and/or gorilla?

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, YOUR TOKEN DISAPPEARING ACT BY A BCS TEAM...

You e-mailed in fits of rage when I predicted Alabama would lose to Florida in the SEC Championship game. And now ... silence. Just silence. There is nothing to say. With no disrespect to the Utah Utes, the Crimson Tide was overrated all season long, and though this game probably had a let-down quality to it with a young, disappointed team, 'Bama still laid an egg.

(And I just have to ask: If coach Whittingham wants to vote his Utes No. 1 in the final poll, but the American Football Coaches' Association rules say he is not allowed, then what's the point of calling it a "vote"?)

OH, AND YOUR REQUISITE OHIO STATE BCS LOSS? RIGHT ON CUE

We knew this was coming, right? Right? At this point, aren't the Buckeyes college football's version of Wile E. Coyote? You know, things always seem to be looking up, and you start thinking they might have it all figured out ... and then a random boulder falls on their heads or a bomb accidentally explodes. And then it dawns on you that regardless of what happened in Weeks 1 -12, this season will end exactly the same way as last year, and the year before that.

GET OFF THE FENCE: 10 RANDOM QUESTIONS THAT COULD IMPACT YOUR NEW YEAR

1. Better 'bees': Applebees or Burt's Bees?

2. 'Big'ger joke: Big 12 or Bigfoot?

3. Bigger Texas surprise: Longhorns winning by three or Red Raiders losing by 13?

4. Better pro prospect: Sam Bradford (Oklahoma) or Mark Sanchez (USC)?

5. More awful viewing experience: Sun Bowl or any bowl other than the Sun Bowl?

6. Catchier first name: Quan (Texas) or Gartrell (Colorado State)?

7. Better Britney song: Hit Me Baby (One More Time) or Womanizer?

8. More underrated conference: Big East or Pac-10?

9. Less reliable 80s toy: Easy-Bake Oven or Mousetrap?

10. Smarter bet: Florida -3.5 or Oklahoma +3.5?

BECAUSE JINXING YOURSELF IS ALWAYS A GREAT IDEA...

Here's a novel concept: Let's anger the best player on the other team, before the biggest game of the season and ignore the reality that he may, in fact, be the closest thing we have to God on earth. Sounds like a great plan...

Why, why, why? Why do this? Isn't this kind of foreshadowing only reserved for Disney sports movies?

Ty Hildenbrandt writes Quick Slants every week. E-mail him at tyhildenbrandt@gmail.com and check out his podcast with SIOC's Dan Rubenstein at SolidVerbal.com.

 
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