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Playoffs and Free Speech 12/15/09

The A-Line Board of Football Experts

After a rather pleasant weekend spent about as far away from thoughts of college football as could be imagined, it is now back to the grind. And how about Ol’ Removal Roy, huh?

thevenueAs has become our habit over the last few years, the Clubhouse Tailgate will again bridge the gap between the end of Virginia Tech’s regular season and bowl game by pitching camp at the Stagg Bowl. This annual affair is held at Salem Stadium and determines by how many points Mt. Union will win the D-III championship over Wisconsin-Whitewater. They do seem to play every year and the Purple Raiders always seem to win.

It is always interesting to observe both the caliber of both the football on the field and the fans who travel no small distance to support their teams. Hoo AD Craig ‘Tubby, ODU is next’ Littlepage has solid reasons for peppering the 2010 Hoo schedule with so many in-state I-AA teams. They include making new coach Mike London feel at home, giving the Hoos at least a puncher’s chance at winning a couple, and the fact that he does not want to play Mt. Union. The Hoos think it is tough to beat Duke?

As for the fans, remarkably enough they seem just like the fans of every other school with whom we come in contact. They are there to support their teams and in many cases have 07stagg26traveled decent distances to do so. There is very little difference between fans of D-III schools and those of I-A, just not as many. We have discovered that fans of both the Purple Raiders and Warhawks do find interesting the bunch of guys wearing Virginia Tech colors and grilling all manner of dead animals amusing. Well, it is football in the neighborhood.

It should be noted that the champion of Division III is determined on the field, not, as many would have you believe, by computers. No, computers were used to determine the 16 teams that constituted the playoff. Once again, the hew and cry is raised for Division I to copy D’s I-AA, II and III and institute their own playoff scheme. As sportswriters and bloggers screech for the uniqueness of college football to simply be cast aside and the current 2-team playoff replaced with one of 4, 8, 16, 32 or, what the heck, everybody, nobody ever gets to the heart of the matter. That, of course, is money.

The only reason Mt. Union and Wisconsin-Whitewater are playing in balmy Salem this Saturday is because their playoff, like those in field hockey, volleyball, soccer, dodgeball, croquet, tiddly-winks and every other sport that pops into anybody’s head is subsidized by cash siphoned from the Division I men’s basketball tournament. This great example of socialism awards large amounts of money to most every body except the people actually earning the money.

The BCS, on the other hand, seeks to reward those participating and actually keeping the monies earned in the hands of those earning it. It is also working like a charm. No wonder Obama hates it.

For all of the hot air and bandwidth expended by those clamoring for a playoff, not a single one addresses the root of the ‘problem,’ cash distribution. The schools in the 6 BCS conferences are raking in at least a million or so a year from the BCS and don’t care to see it taxed away by the NCAA to finance the D-III lawn darts tourney, or whatever. If a playoff could guarantee those 66 schools equal or greater amounts of money than they are currently receiving, then we would have a playoff. It is about that simple.

ivan-screamsIt is also both amusing and somewhat disconcerting to read so-called fans of Virginia Tech screeching like 3-year olds for a playoff. Are they aware of which school has arguably benefited the most from the current BCS system and its predecessor, the Bowl Alliance? Access to the ‘big bowls’ and its attending monies have gone far towards what has been built by Tech football. And they want to hand it over to some D-III school, especially at a time when Bud has just franked Tech for more money? Once again I ponder exactly what is being taught these days in schools, especially when it comes to Economics.

Well, they call it Free Speech, even if it is Stupid Speech. That is still guaranteed in most places. ‘Most places’ does not seem to include Dean’s Dome at the University of North Carolina at the People’s Republic of Chapel Hill. I know a number of graduates of that august institution of higher education. To a person, they seem to be a normal, level-headed lot, in possession of political views almost as right-wing as my own. They all appear to have received a fine education without being infected by the liberal goofiness which is often associated with Carolina. But, then again, I have never met Ol’ Removal Roy Williams.

It seems that Carolina was pounding somebody called Presbyterian last weekend. It also seems that in attendance at Dean’s Dome was an alumnus of the Blue Hose who was doing what fans tend to do, cheering for his team. Brian King was watching the game with some Carolina buddies, sitting, as it turned out, perilously-close to Ol’ Removal Roy. It turns out that suggesting that Deon Thompson miss a free throw violates accepted free speech standards in Dean’s Roy’s Dome.

An enraged Ol’ Removal Roy had King ejected from the game. That will teach him to commit the unpardonable sin of cheering against the Baby Blues. While cheering for one’s team at an ESPN Obama Basketballathletic event does seem to be a widespread practice, even when one is visiting [I have noticed it sure happens a lot in Kenan], this is Carolina we are talking about. Roy’s Dome has long been renowned for its lack of noise, perhaps making it easier for Ol’ Removal Roy to hear the offending words.

Or, perhaps Ol’ Removal Roy was merely showing solidarity with the loonier and celebrated members of Carolina’s faculty who are under pressure both from a new Chancellor who seems determined to introduce at least some vestige of free speech to the place and a cash-strapped North Carolina legislature who controls the purse strings and is staring hard at the concept of lifetime tenure. After all, King might have been a supporter of Sarah Palin, a crime so objectionable in the eyes of  the faculty that immediate ejection from Roy’s Dome, campus and the People’s Republic of Chapel Hill is required.  Free Speech must be eliminated and it is better to be safe than sorry.

lockstep2As Ol’ Removal Roy demands that all fans entering his Dome march in lockstep and cheer from only politically-approved printed sheets last used in Castro’s Cuba or an Obama rally, one does wonder exactly how far the Carolina coach plans to take his new policy? On F4, the UNC  basketball team will play Virginia Tech in Cassell Coliseum. As is their habit when it comes to basketball, Carolina fans have snapped up every available ticket and will provide the Heels with as strong a visiting presence as can be found in the ACC. Does Ol’ Removal Roy plan on having thousands of Carolina fans ejected for cheering HIS team? Somehow I doubt it.

While the Carolina SID folks sprang into action and did what all SID departments do, which is make sure the politically-approved spin was applied to the situation, including trashing King as being drunk, disorderly and all other manner of vile activity one would expect from a Presbyterian, the video evidence suggests otherwise. It also seems that quite a few of those sane, level-headed Carolina alums with whom I normally associate aren’t buying totally into the company line. The sling that is holding Ol’ Removal Roy’s injured arm immobile may soon be transferred to another part of his anatomy. Whether it is wearing Kansas buttons or having visiting fans removed from HIS dome for no good reason, Ol’ Removal Roy does keep things interesting.


  1. John — December 15, 2009 #

    One has to wonder with some sense of anticipatory amusement just what sort of “special recognition” our Cassell Crazies might have in wait for Ol’ Removal Roy when he pays a visit to these parts.

    I hope I can find a ticket to that one!


    Jim Reply:

    I want to watch when the Heels go to Cameron.


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