DEAR CFP: STOP SHOWING RERUNS

Everyone loves a rerun. Sometimes. Sometimes everyone loves a rerun. And those times are not all of the time, nor are they in all things. Thus the definition of the word sometimes. At least eloquently refactored in a concise, millennial way. The legit Google definition is ‘occasionally, rather than all the time’ so I guess my version was actually more verbose. Which, in hindsight, one sentence later, is surprisingly fitting for the millennials as a generation.

English lesson aside, we all have reruns that we look forward to, some that we feel indifferent about, and others that we would be fine never seeing again. For example, all the Schitt’s Creek and Parks and Recreation episodes in the world could never be played enough and we will always stand up our friends for a good television marathon of those shows. Historic sporting events are hit or miss, depending on your level of emotional involvement, the overall outcome of the game, how long ago it occurred, and what our social calendar looks like at the time of the showing. Then, of course, there’s the no fly zone which includes making the same dating mistake multiple times, never learning how to study in college and continuing to use the ‘D is for degree’ mindset, and eating the entire piece of cheesecake from The (one and only) Cheesecake Factory by yourself. Again. And ending up not being able to eat for 24 hours. Again.

So we get it, right? Reruns are only as exciting as the context that comes with them. The College Football Playoff is not that context. For all who were wondering. Is anyone still enjoying it at this point? Other than the 3 schools that make the championship game year after year obviously. As a fan, however, this is not doing it for me anymore to be honest. We get it. Alabama, Clemson, and Ohio State have political pull, and maybe a lot of under the table money (I’m not here to judge), flowing to the ranking committee placing them in the top four each year. 

The problem here is that the top four, and only the top four, even get a chance at making the national title game. And that feels a bit unfair to the teams who happen to be in lesser known conferences. I don’t want to see the predictable. I want Cinderellas. I want upsets. I want an underdog to pull for. Which is clearly why the CFP will never compare to March Madness. Because unless you roll with the tide, think orange and purple is an acceptable color combination, or secretly enjoy sporting your love for Mary Jane, you don’t care about last night’s supposedly biggest game of the year. 

Don’t get me wrong, those teams are good. Clearly. But let’s back up a second and think about all the reasons that Ohio State shouldn’t have even been in the playoffs. Reason one: Ohio State did not play 6 regular season Big Ten games. Nope! They only played 5 so the playoff committee was like, all these other teams have double digit games, but sure put Brutus up in the top four. Reason two: Ohio State was not technically eligible for the Big Ten championship game, and thus, not eligible for the CFP. Say it ain’t so! Oh yes, the Big Ten Conference, as a whole, decided to waive it’s (up until that point) very strict 6 game limit to be eligible for the title game so that OSU could play. In place of Indiana, so Hoosiers fans, my heart is with you during this tough time. Reason three: other than the Clemson win in the semi-finals, I’m not convinced that a new challenger would not have knocked off the Buckeyes based on their measly 6 game record. Few of which were blowout wins, might I add.

Ok, enough hating on the Bucks for now. Let’s examine Clemson and Alabama. Sure, we know that both are capable of winning against teams in their conference. Shocker … since the ACC is not a football conference despite their best trash talking efforts and the SEC has been on the decline in recent years. The real football power conferences are the B10, Pac 12, and Big 12. Fight me. What would happen if the playoff included more than one rotating team? My guess, we would not always see one of the Three Musketeers playing in mid-January.

While we’re hating on the CFP, let’s talk about how a four team playoff is, frankly, a joke. It was always a joke. Since 2015 and the first year of this system. Before going further, I have to say that college football has long needed a better system for determining a national championship. Other than having whoever happened to be one of the top two teams duke it out. A playoff, for example. Similar to how every other sport does it. But four teams?! Who was in charge of that? Eighth at a minimum! If we really want a true champion, though, it really needs to hit the sweet sixteen mark. That’s over half the top 25. We’ll see how crimson, orange, and red fare against the full rainbow then.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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THE EMOTIONAL ROLLERCOASTER OF BEING A SPORTS FAN

The sports industry is massive. Everyone puts out a different estimate of its total worth because, if the government has taught us anything, it’s that agreement is not a correct answer, but everyone has the value somewhere in the billions. With a ‘b’. That wasn’t a typo. So it’s kind of a big deal. A LOT of people are invested, physically, monetarily, and emotionally. If you aren’t one of those people, you might not understand anything that I’m about to write.

Let me backup for a second, though, how can you not be a sports fan? What do you do with your time if it isn’t spent screaming at people through the television? People who obviously can hear you and care about your opinions on your performance. Also, everything is a sport now. The traditional ball, basket, and jersey don’t always apply anymore. Do you do nothing? If you don’t consider yourself a sports fan, why not try one of these “hobbies-that-are-somehow-considered-a-sport”:

  • Wife-Carrying – like a road trip but on feet with the passengers on your back
  • Ferret-Legging – think ants in your pants, then up the danger component by turning the ants into an angry, scared, trapped ferret
  • Yukigassen – simply a massive snowball fight
  • Bog Snorkeling – because the most fascinating species live at the bottom of a bog
  • Cheese Rolling – one would think that Wisconsin invented this, but no, our brothers from another mother across the ocean started this. Careful though, the cheese can get up to 70 MPH
  • Competitive Sleeping – a single player game invented in California, probably by a millennial
  • Extreme Ironing – take this already fun chore and do it on top of a moving vehicle
  • Face Slapping – great way to relieve stress, or anger
  • Giant Pumpkin Kayaking – if you don’t like kayaking you clearly have never done it in a massive pumpkin that’s been carved out
  • Lawn Mower Racing – if high speed BMX frightens you, play it safe in a low speed lawn mower
  • Toe Wrestling – for those with ridiculous control over every single toe’s movement, this is for you

See, there’s something for literally everyone! No more excuses, you are a sports fan. Now that we’ve settled this debate – being a sports fan is emotionally exhausting. The mood you’re in each day is a direct correlation for how your team performed the night before. Oh, your team was off? Then you should be in a GREAT mood. Why would you not be? They didn’t lose. They didn’t play like a youth recreational team. They didn’t forget to step off the plane. They didn’t score for the other team. Life is good, your team is good, everything is peachy. 

On the other hand, coming off a loss can go one of two ways. Was it a good loss? You feel alright then. They played well. They weren’t expected to win. They fought hard and look poised to make a run at some point. Was it a bad loss? An upset perhaps? A rivalry game? Everyone else better hide because the feelings are about to hit the fan. I mean, really! How can you lose to THAT team?! Were you trying to throw the game?! The refs were terrible, though, so at least we have that. But still what the actual hell were they thinking?

Thank goodness it ends after the season. Uh, no sorry that’s highly incorrect. The off-season and pre-season are almost more stressful. In the immediate off-season, you’re either one of the lucky ones on a championship high, or you fall with the majority into the long wait of regret, frustration, and disappointment. As pre-season approaches, your fan ego gets stoked to the MAX and every piece of press can be turned into good press … at least in your mind. You get so hyped and talk a big game to all your friends, co-workers, doctors, strangers, etc. And a big ego never gets crushed. Never. So you’ll ride that high through the first-week funding games and then be slammed back down to reality. For the love of the game, repeat this cycle infinitely.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who is a sports fan and seems to be forever in a salty mood, do a quick check on how their team is performing. I bet it’s sub-par. Then pass this along so they can understand that everyone is the same. Thanks for reading!


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DEAR NCAA: DID YOU FORGET THAT YOU’RE IN CHARGE?

It’s a weird world that we live in now. Surely, I can’t be the only one who feels this way? The NCAA has become a major pushover, TikTok is the hottest black market drug in the social media world, and butterflies apparently have a lifespan of 3 – 5 days. How cruel is that … 3 – 5 days?! Some of them are born without a mouth, and thus without the ability to eat. If that doesn’t traumatize you, do you even have a soul? I, for one, would be devastated if I finally glowed up out of my caterpillar-looking self and couldn’t eat. Ever again. What’s the point of being beautiful if you can’t eat food? Not a tradeoff I would take. In fact, I would probably be ok looking like Shrek as long as I could have my midnight Cheez-Its. He has Fiona, an entire swamp, multiple children, and a talking donkey. Oh, and food, obviously. 

Maybe that’s why King Farquaad is always so angry? Instead of eating gingerbread, he maims them and throws them away. Tragic. Kind of like what’s happening with collegiate athletics’ supposed juggernaut of a leadership entity. Recently, there’s been a push for them to take a step back from every single potentially political, disruptive, or triggering decision in favor of ambiguity. That’s fun. Instead of being the bad parent, they would rather be best friends with all of their children. The problem here, though, is that you can’t be a good parent without knowing when to lay down the law. Drop the hammer. Let your children cry it out in their cribs all night if that’s what it takes. Because, eventually, they will stop.

Watching an authoritative organization try to make everyone happy is like watching a ticking bomb. I’m guessing, I’ve never watched a ticking bomb. I choose not to put myself in those situations. For safety. The longer you do nothing, the closer you are to the explosion. And when you’re one group trying to hoard off the (dead) masses, it becomes a lot like the epic battle of WINTERFELL. Except without the Hollywood underdog win. Why does everyone hate the NCAA? Quite simply, because they’ve become soft.

They do a lot, but at the end of the day, their responsibility is to govern member organizations. Now, in their defense, they are definitely governing. But they’re copying the wrong example of a government. Pushing decisions off and hoping they resolve themselves is not proactive, or reactive. It’s passive. And no one wants a passive leader. We put you in charge for a reason. Because we, the people, don’t want to make these decisions. Should we play sports this fall? Well that feels a lot like something that needs to be dictated across the board. Whatever ridiculousness is happening right now with conferences, and schools, making their own choices is a recipe for a riot. 

Nebraska thinks they’re Notre Dame. College students are starting petitions to undermine their conference decisions. Parents are getting involved and you know you’ve lost control when parents are talking to ESPN. Parents are arguably one of the worst parts of all sports from youth up through professional. The last thing anybody wants, sports fans or not, is to turn on SportsCenter and hear commentary from the parent of a second string Linebacker. Your child is now an adult. They need to fight their own battles. Better yet, let the coaching staff do their jobs and fight those battles for the team.

I don’t blame the parents, though, for being upset and not wanting their kid to miss an opportunity. I don’t blame the players for wanting to play. I don’t blame the coaching staff for wanting answers. All of the blame can be easily put in one place. No matter what you do, people are going to be upset. That’s just life. Trying to play every angle, however, leads to everyone being pissed at you. Especially since you can’t really crown a champion with over half of the contenders not currently having a season. That’s like saying Florida State won March Madness because they won the ACC Championship. LOL please! They weren’t even the most competitive conference. Now feels like a good spot for me to step back from this post before my competitive troll side emerges. In a move of pure authority, I’m ending it.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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