A Weekend Worth Writing About

I’ve started a fast for the New Year and while that does involve my diet, I’ve also decided to ‘fast’ laziness.

That means I’m looking to exercise every day of this 21-day fast and hope to continue doing so afterwards. It also means I’ll be writing everyday, whether that’s a novel that’s bounced around my head and needs to be put to page, or being paid to write, or writing my thoughts, opinions, and whatever else in this space here.

And here is as good a place to star writing about what took place this weekend…

I was thinking that if Congress raced into session and passed a law about anything, it would slide past the average American since the hot topic of the day would be the same one that spawned countless Facebook posts, tweets, and memes on Sunday.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, congratulations! You can watch the video, but basically a referee threw a flag, announced a penalty, then after a huddle overturned the call.

Source: Business Insider
Source: Business Insider

This is something that rarely ever happens. Ever. And while there could be questions about whether it was a penalty or not, there’s one thing that is absolutely clear.

Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant should have been flagged for running onto the field with no helmet to argue the call.

He’s an All Pro talent, one that I would love to see playing for a team that I root for. But his high-tempered emotional outburst should have cost his team.

And while others like to gloss over the missed penalty call(s) and say that the Lions still could have won, they’re forgetting that a first down puts them in field goal range. Instead of a shanked punt, they kick off the ball with a six-point lead.

It changes the momentum of a national-televised playoff game and puts pressure on a team that was 2-7 in their last nine playoff games, a quarterback in Tony Romo who’s been (unfairly) judged as a failure due to his late-season record and a coach who’s never had a winning record and was coaching in his first playoff game (not counting the last three years where the final game of the season was for a spot in the playoffs and his team lost).

All I’m saying is a penalty there makes a world of difference.

What a difference the calendar can make. The way the final days of 2014 turned out, New Year’s Day was on a Thursday, meaning all the college football bowl games took place in the middle of a week. Let’s use that as the excuse for the complete ignorance of the fact the Southeastern Conference’s Western Division went 2-5 in the collegiate post-season. N

I grew up in New Jersey and there’s no college football power in the greater Northeast. Penn State would be the closest thing and while Joe Paterno was alive and dominating during my youth, that was in Pennsylvania which was miles and hours away.

Needless to say, I have not true affiliation and stay knowledgeable about it for conversation’s sake in the office. But my lack of caring didn’t stop everyone from sports media types down to loyal fans to brag about how great the SEC was this year. How the new college football playoff should include at least two SEC teams, preferably from the Western conference, and how the defending national champions weren’t worthy despite being the only undefeated team from a Power-5 (i.e Big Time) conference.

After Alabama lost on Thursday night, I used Google on Friday morning and searched “SEC West Overrated”. I didn’t get back much, like all the national columnists went to sleep on the job, so aglow with Oregon’s dismantling of the team America loved to hate.

However I did find one story – Has Over a Decade of SEC Football Dominance Been a Facade?

Like the show on ESPN, the same network that joined forces with the SEC to create their own network, Numbers Never Lie. You can look at those or check out the chart that goes with this article. Granted, it’s two years old but once again the numbers never lie.

Stuart Scott and Rich Eisen on the SportsCenter setI’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I grew up wanting to be on SportsCenter. I watched Dan Patrick and Keith Olbermann at 11 p.m.; but I was more likely to catch the 2 a.m. show. That was the one they repeated every morning and that was the one starring Rich Eisen and Stuart Scott.

I never thought about the fact that Scott was the only black broadcaster on the network. I just tried to come up with catch-phrases and sayings like “Boo-yah” and “As cool as the other side of the pillow”.

The best I came up with was “Hello, Hi, and Welcome to…”, which I borrowed (stole) from someplace that I don’t remember. But I do remember being told I’d be perfect on SportsCenter and the only reason that a possibility was due to Scott.

He brought ‘urban’ into a lily-white atmosphere, similar to the way Chuck Berry and B.B. King did with the foundations of rock and roll, the way A Tribe Called Quest did with a smoother style of rap. It was something that was picked up, replicated, and now is the way.

Tony Kornheiser listed the Mt. Rushmore for ESPN as Chris Berman, Patrick, Olbermann, and Stuart Scott. I hate to admit it, but during his final years, I made fun of his eye and grew to dislike the same catch-phrases I tried to emulate in my youth.

But I can’t deny his importance and influence, not only in my life and career, but for the thousands that altered their scholastic career in an attempt to achieve and reach where Scott was. Not to mention the millions that look like me and talk like me and tuned into ESPN and felt like we were represented on screen when we watched him.

Stuart Scott will be missed and that’s the truth.


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