GEORGE WILL KNOWS FOOTBALL

Actually George Will knows even less about football than what he truly knows about baseball, which is not nearly as much as he’d like you to believe.. The proof lies in his own words, this piece of twaddle (read bullshit) that I just found on the op-ed pages of the Post-Gazette.

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/opinion/perspectives/george-f-will-pigskin-progressivism-college-football-began-as-way-to-promote-divisions-of-labor-652643/

His main point seems to be to attribute all the worst aspects of college football today to the  inculcation of progressive ideals. Of course in Will’s feeble mind progressive equals liberal so progressive cannot be good in any way shape or form.

College football became a national phenomenon because it supposedly served the values of progressivism, in two ways. It exemplified specialization, expertise and scientific management. And it would reconcile the public to the transformation of universities, especially public universities, into something progressivism desired but the public found alien.

And this

Football taught the progressive virtue of subordinating the individual to the collectivity. Inevitably, this led to the cult of one individual, the coach. Today, in almost every state, at least one public university football coach is paid more than the governor.

This is utterly insane. College football, which I no longer follow due to its total corruption, is far more emulative of the worst facets of conservative notions of free enterprise.

In it you have the CEO’s (the coaches) having income far out of proportion to what their counterparts earned a couple of generations ago and egregiously in excess of their economic value to their employers.

Taking the corporate metaphor further you have the workers who do all the “heavy lifting” (in this case lierally as the players all particpate in weight programs) earning peanuts compared to the bosses and upper management (the assistant coaches).

Full scholarships have worth. For the big state schools, where most big time programs exist, the average per year cost of school probably lies between $20-30,000. Let’s say $30 G’s and the 85 players would cost $2,550,000. A fair number of today’s coaches could fund those scholarships and have enough left over to maintain a pretty fancy lifestyle.

But, just like the peons working in the trenches for many companies, these players have no “job” security. Scholarships are granted yearly, not for the entire span of education, though there have been some reforms in this area.

But if any of these players accepts anything of value while on scholarship, they can be punished including suspension and loss of scholarship. Too, they have little time to act as normal students including on school breaks when many of their contemporaries work to earn money. The reality is that football is not confined to its traditional fall season but extends into the winter for the teams going to bowl games and begins again in the spring with up to twenty days of full practices culminating in a money making scrimmage for the benefit of the alumni.

So we have worker exploitation which is NOT a progressive value.

Then we have the matter of “show me the money”. If you follow college football at all you should be aware that many schools have ended long-time conference affiliations in order to pursue the almighty buck on the theory that the grass is greener blah blah blah.

Schools look to bring in money from these conference tie-ins. My Alma Mater, West Virginia University, is a prime example. It has entered play in the BIG 12 Conference this 2012 season. The league  got  a ten year $2 BILLION + dollar TV deal.

There are two peculiarities of note in this situation. First of all WVU was formerly in the BIG EAST and most of its rivals were at most a few hundred miles away. Now, the closest BIG 12 school to WVU is about 850 miles away in Iowa. It will be increasingly more difficult and expensive for fans to attend away games.

Secondly, the BIG 12 has only 10 teams! Not to worry, the BIG 10 has 12. Shouldn’t academic institutions be better at simple arithmetic?

Big time college football today is media driven. Participants want to be on TV as much as possible, which is why games are no longer certain to be played on Saturday afternoons, their historical place. Rather you can find them starting Saturday before noon, or with kickoffs scheduled late in the afternoon/early to late evening. Not only that but there is college football on the tube regularly on Thursday and Friday nights with contests on Sun.-Tues. not unheard of.

So, progressive college football is not.

But conservative/free enterprise driven?

  1. Exploitation of workers.                         Check!
  2. Overpay of the bosses.                            Check!
  3. Bowing to commercial concerns           Check!
  4. Destroying tradition for money.           Check!

George Will knows?

Not at all. There is no danger in that slogan replacing BO knows.

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Comments

  • little_minx  On September 10, 2012 at 11:52 PM

    Will is a Cubs fan. Need I say more re his sports judgment, or lack thereof?

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