Searching for the Truth – X. But I Digress…

Published July 18, 2001 – Cameron Citizen-Observer

Washington HuskiesTHIS JUST IN: The Bowl Championship Series has adjusted their formula for selecting the national championship game, once again. After last year’s ‘controversy’ with Florida State playing Oklahoma instead of Miami, there was going to be changes. But until there is a tournament, there will always be controversy.

Here’s the funny thing, with everything I’ve read about the changes, no one mentions the University of Washington. Last year, they had the same record as Miami and Florida State.

The Huskies won the Pac-10 title and their one loss was to Oregon State, who was selected to a BCS game. Oh yeah, they also beat Miami, but everyone seems to forget that, especially now…

Two words: Mechanical. Bull. My legs are still sore from this past weekend, but I can definitely say it was worth it and I can take that off the list of things to do. Next up, in no particular order: watch the Running of the Bulls in Spain, get a part in a movie or radio show, learn to dance salsa and meringue and walk the Great Wall of China, which leads me to…

I graduated from college with a minor in history, which is so important; they don’t put it on your diploma. But I do consider myself somewhat of a buff. I try to watch Jeopardy and occasionally I even read a book, but I digress…

First Olympic GamesThe Greeks came up with the Olympics way back when they thought they were the dominant civilization in the world. It was a competition between men from all over to determine who was the best. I say from all over because it included everyone.

No one boycotted the games because the Americans or Russians were going to be there as well. In fact, the Greeks would put wars on hold for the Games. Armies would sign papers of truce and then send off soldiers to compete in the games. They also didn’t fight during the winter, but once again, I digress…

With Beijing, China winning the right to host the 2008 Olympic games, a bevy of controversy from groups all over the world will commence. Some groups in Taiwan and Hong Kong are already crying. I heard one U.S. politician make a rather vague comment, denouncing the Olympic Selection Committee for its selection. Then again, I could have heard somebody’s supermarket shopping list. You never can tell with politicians…

The point is, after the recent ‘snafu’ between the US and China, the Olympics are the perfect symbol to show diplomacy between nations. But why do I feel as the date comes closer, the voices will grow louder?

I really hope I’m wrong. They’ve done TV specials on the sport complexes the Chinese are talking about building. It would be a shame if American athletes didn’t get to use them. They look amazing and why not. That’s the job of the Olympics now. To force structural change to a city, induce commerce and increase population.

Just look at Atlanta, they’re still feeling the boom from 1996. I drove through Salt Lake City last year and there is construction everywhere. I think they were making a new highway system around the city in anticipation of 2002. And the same goes for Athens, Greece and Beijing in the future. Commercial money, new constructions and tons of temporary jobs. At least the kids will have a great complex once all the ‘amateurs’ are finished…

NCAA Basketball LogoThe NCAA has tweaked the tournament so teams no longer have to travel as far in the first and second rounds, which makes sense. An East coast team getting a 2-seed out West deserves something and there’s usually a willing arena closer. That way, you also get area crowds with vested interests in the games.

But the idea that shorting the distance will give student-athletes more time for their studies is just ridiculous. They have more than enough time in study hall, and what do you think the plane ride is for? Also, most major Division I athletic programs charter planes and fly the team. Sometimes they fly fans, mostly rich, booster club alumni of the university and high-level staff, but they do get their own plane. Once again, I digress…

When the NCAA is talking about shorter distances, they’re not talking about the Division II schools that bus their teams to all their games. They’re talking about the rich, obnoxious universities that plaster their logo on everything and sell it at the mall to unsuspecting teenagers. This way, more people wearing school stuff can show up at the games, making the school look that much better.

Meanwhile, the percentage of students trying to get a degree and play a sport goes down and the percentage of athletes taking two years to showcase their skills for future employers goes up. All the time, university presidents and network executives light up cigars with $20 bills. But that’s just my misguided take on the sports world I cover and that’s the truth.

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