Quick Slants: Season recap
Call of BCS title game may have been the worst ever
LSU players quickly learned that you don't mess with Tebow
Georgia Bulldogs proved why they're just like the Ultimate Warrior
Breaking up is hard to do. No question about it. So when our beloved editor Mallory Rubin broke the news in Monday's Campus Clicks that SI On Campus would be shutting its doors, I took a few moments to reflect upon the halcyon days of Quick Slants' two-year run. The unnecessary Nick Saban digs. The unprovoked attacks on the BCS. The rabid e-mails that nearly caused me to call the authorities. Ah, the memories. It's been fun.
So I could think of no better way to send off this column than by ending it the way we started: by giving credit where it's due in the world of college football. Sort of. Naturally, Florida and Sam Bradford and a host of others deserve all the notable accolades they've received. But in true Quick Slants fashion, it wouldn't be right to close out a football season without handing out our own brand of offbeat awards, to parties that may or may not be worthy of further recognition. That's just our style. Without further ado...
The Jim Nantz "Gushing Commentary" Award
To Thom Brennaman, who blew the lid on his apparent man crush for Florida's Tim Tebow in the first quarter of Thursday's BCS Championship by saying "In such a cynical, sarcastic society, often times looking for the negative on anybody or anything, if you're fortunate enough to spend five minutes or 20 minutes around Tim Tebow, your life is better for it."
And while we're on the subject, a friend of mine texted me midway through Thursday's fourth quarter with an astute observation: "This is the worst-announced game ever." I like Brennaman and Charles Davis, but I think I agree. Everything about the broadcast was over-the-top, from Brennaman's Tebow-love to Davis doing play-by-play during injuries. Can we officially start the countdown clock until Fox loses its rights to cover BCS games after next season?
The Buzz Bissinger "Embarrassing Outburst" Award
To proud Oklahoma alum Billy Sims, who obnoxiously interrupted the 2008 Heisman Trophy ceremony much like the way Axel Foley crashed Ellis DeWald's banquet in Beverly Hills Cop III. Sims has since apologized for his sudden display of Oklahoma pride -- shouting "BOOMER!" 11 times in the immediate moments following the trophy announcement -- but his performance will live in infamy. Though not nearly as intense as Bissinger's explosion over sports blogs on HBO, Sims is sure to be on a short least and/or shock collar the next time an Oklahoma player comes within 20 miles of the Downtown Athletic Club.
The Ron Burgundy "I Immediately Regret This Decision" Award
To LSU's Ricky Jean-Francois and Oklahoma's Dominique Franks, both of whom called out Tebow in some capacity and were subsequently embarrassed when their teams lost to Florida. At what point did this become a practical idea? Aren't you just tempting fate? Why not hold a black cat and walk under a ladder while you're at it? Stupid.
(Oh, and just off the bat, Tebow made "John 3:16" the top search term on Google after writing it on his eye black during the BCS Championship. This has nothing to do with anything, but just goes to show that Tim Tebow doesn't Google. Tim Tebow is Google.)
The Ultimate Warrior Award for "Best Ultimate Warrior Impersonation"
To the Georgia Bulldogs, who would've won the national championship... if only the season could've ended before it started. You might remember the beloved Dawgs as the preseason No. 1 team in all the land. And I know I definitely remember the flood of messages that arrived in the Quick Slants inbox when I compared them, for the second straight year, to the Ultimate Warrior, citing their apparent inability to get over the proverbial hump. Well, lo and behold, here we are. The nasty e-mails have ceased. The only thing missing from the Georgia program is face paint and rampant steroid allegations.
The Johnny Cash "I've Been Everywhere, Man" Award
To the affable "SI Tour Guy," Dan Rubenstein, who has accrued so many frequent flyer miles that they might as well just give him his own Learjet. Aside of co-hosting the best college football podcast on the Internet (shameless plug), Dan allows us to live vicariously in his world of sun dresses, jean skirts, and other tailgating attractions on a weekly basis. And from the perspective of someone in the freezing northeastern quadrant of the country, I am immensely grateful.
The Peter McNeely "Imaginary Hype" Award
To the vaunted Big 12 conference, which proved that the quality of its publicists is far superior to that of its teams after Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Texas, and Oklahoma went 1-3 in bowl play, despite captivating the nation for most of the regular season. Why is it we confuse "interesting" conferences for "credible" ones? This is the real bias in college football. Perhaps the Pac-10 should consider a publicity stunt or two before the 2009 season gets rolling. You know, something to attract attention from beyond the Left Coast. Like an exhibition game against a team of actual clowns, not just the guys from Washington.
The Jules Verne "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" Award
To BCS Coordinator John Swofford and Boston College athletic director Gene DeFilippo, neither of whom seems to be living in the same reality as the rest of us. Swofford, despite a quiet onslaught by President-elect Barack Obama, remains defiant that the BCS is the best methodology for determining a national champion. (He's paid to say it, but that doesn't make it right.) DeFilippo, on the other hand, just got done firing Jeff Jagodzinski in one of the greatest cut-off-your-nose-to-spite-your-face moves of all time after he took an interview with the New York Jets. Somebody needs to keep track of these things and put out a top 100 list in the year 2050.
The Jack Bauer "WHO ARE YOU WORKING FOR?!?" Award
To the Penn State athletic department, which made a clear statement that it works for Joe Paterno -- not the other way around -- when it offered him a three-year contract extension in the days before his 82nd birthday. Look, as a Penn State alum, nobody has more respect for Joe Paterno than I. The man is a legend and a role model. However, the notion that Paterno is as spry a coach as he was at age 50 is more than a little ridiculous. Unless there is hidden language in Paterno's pact that spells out a succession plan, this move by the university is a respectful cop-out to avoid media scrutiny and an unsightly public relations circus.
Ty Hildenbrandt thanks you for your support of Quick Slants over the last two years. It's been a blast. Feel free to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts, and don't forget to listen to his podcast (with Dan Rubenstein) at SolidVerbal.com.
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