Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Let's Take a Moment to Feel Dirty

We all love college football, and a large part of why we do is because of the absolute ungrounded psychosis swirling around it. We love how drunken octogenerians get into fistfights in the stands. We love how crazed students protest defeat by igniting their furniture and tipping over ambulances. We love the life-or-death tension an entire fanbase feels when the fate of their program hinges on the capricious decisions of high school seniors. But sometimes even the staunchest and most passionate fans have moments where the over-the-topness escalates to a new shocking level and gives us all a pregnant pause to wonder if this time we've really truly lost our minds.

One of those moments probably came the other day, when Maryland uber-recruit Antonio Logan-El took circus-themed recruiting announcements to a profound new level. Anyone who caught his nationally-televised announcement live from the Inner Harbor ESPN Zone would have to admit that the theatrics are getting out of hand. The really bad news is that the trend shows no sign of changing, and we should all expect each year to bring us progressively more and more ludicrous hoopla, constantly escalating with no end in sight.

We created this monster, too, and at this point there's no sense in trying to get the genie back in the bottle (two cliches in one sentence, hows that for pulling out all the stops? Whoops, three.) The fact of the matter is that we can't stop caring about this, and the attention and ratings that come out of each publicity stunt just fuels the fire (cliche #4) and encourages continual one-upmanship. Today, it's the hat shuffle and cell phone game, tomorrow... well, I can see it now...

We now go live to a field out in the Everglades, where the number one overall recruit for the class of 2015 is ready to make his decision. Buddy Cocklord, the younger brother of Arkansas wunderkid Rusty Cocklord, will be flying over this field in the next few minutes in a small private aircraft. We are told that when he pulls his parachute, the logo of the school he has chosen will be emblazoned in the interior cover. A crowd of around 13,000 has gathered, the lucky ones have found a seat in the bleachers that have been erected over the night. On hand are all 117 Division I-A coaches and their families, eagerly waiting to see if they will be blessed with the four guaranteed national championships and two Heisman trophies that young Master Cocklord shall deliver.

And here he comes! He's entering freefall, and the chute has been pulled! The chute has been pulled! A hush falls over the crowd as the grat canvas begins to unfurl and... wait for it! It's the Florida Gators! Buddy Cocklord has committed to the Florida Gators and the Florida section is in pandemonium! Now to Tom Lemming for an instant analysis on...

Wait, hold the phone! He has pulled his emergency parachute! He has pulled the emergency chute and there is a Tennessee logo on it! Absolutely incredible, Cocklord has pulled the classic emergency parachute fake-out! Now the Tennessee crowd is going insane, and the hearbreak is palpable on the faces of the Gator faithful. Such a devastating course of events here, the Gators were this close to a decade-long streak of dominance. Boy, that's got to hurt. Back to Bristol for more analysis on this incredible turn of events...

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