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It's IncrediBowl!
Rick Reilly
January 12, 2004
I never thought I'd get it done.
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January 12, 2004

It's Incredibowl!

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I never thought I'd get it done.

Do you realize how many cases of Tunis I consumed to get LSU and USC to play in the first-ever straight-up national championship IncrediBowl this Sunday on ABC (8 p.m., EST)?

My ears are cauliflower from all the phone calls. My fingertips have blisters from punching the calculator. My hotel room is stuffed with all the bribes from TV executives—lobsters, plasmas and two or three of their so-called interns.

Hold on. Hey, Mystique! You can't dance on that!

But isn't it sah-weet? We're finally going to play a game to decide the national champion.

No more "We're Number 1A!" No more computer geeks deciding the fates of 250-pound fullbacks. No more coaches' valets' barbers calling their votes into a USA Today/ ESPN poll that has become about as legit as a Cuban election.

Splits are for bowling and bananas and bottom lips but not college football. Were you going to be happy with the fourth split tide since 1990—USC No. 1 in the AP poll after its 28-14 thumping of Michigan last Thursday, and LSU No. 1 in the BCS poll after its 21-14 win over Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl on Sunday? That was going to work for you? Do we have two Miss Americas? Two Best Actors? What is this, Twonesia?

No! Thus...the IncrediBowl. Considering this thing had more snags than Janet Reno's panty hose, I still can't believe it's going to happen.

It started last week, as you may have heard, when the United Way faxed LSU coach Nick Saban a contract and begged him to play USC—if he won the Sugar—the following weekend, the proceeds to go to the charity. He ignored the offer. And why wouldn't he? Football for charity? What is this, the U.N.?

No! The only way to lick this stamp was the American way-playing to ego with large fistfuls of cash.

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