Monday, December 29, 2008

All Star Voting and All That Rubbish

This one has been on my mind for a few weeks. Everyone that follows sports is well familiar with each sport's annual all-star game, MVP award, all-American, all-league best, etc. It is natural for fans, writers and those in the game (players and coaches) to want to have a say in who's been the best during the preceding season. But the way this has evolved has all but made the awards useless, at least for the fan (players often get big money by earning these accolades.

Recently, the Heisman Trophy Award was presented to Sam Bradford of the University of Oklahoma. Certainly he had a great season. He was a key part of the high-scoring Sooner offense, which says little about the generally porous defenses that dominate the Big 12 Conference. He beat out Colt McCoy of Texas and Tim Tebow of Florida, the 2007 Heisman winner.

What bothered me about this award was the way the votes were case. Those voters from the Big 12 refused to give Tebow a single top ten vote (the voters get to vote for ten players from #1 to #10).

Tim Tebow is arguably the best player ever to don a college football uniform. He was by far the most outstanding college football player in the United States for 2008. There was certainly collusion by the Big 12. And one can also assume that there are a bunch of Christian-hating voters.

In the NFL, there were some players elected to the Pro-Bowl on name along, specifically Brett Farve and Derrick Brooks, to name two.

The NFL votes and announces the winners with two games remaining in the season. The complete opposite of baseball that does not announce its award winners until after the World Series.

Finally, it is great that the fans can vote, as without them, there would be no major sporting activities. But allowing them to vote 10, 20 or 30 times each is a bit ridiculous. Ballot stuffing is okay in pro sports...apparently.

So as a my personal protest, I will not be voting or viewing any of the professional all-star games until a more honest and accurate procedure is implemented.

PS: does anyone really watch those college football bowl games? ESPN does a tremendous job hiding the fact that the stands are empty for most of these games. One exception: idiotic BYU fans take their annual pilgrimage to Las Vegas to see their Cougars the fourth place Pac 10 team.

My son, for passionate, certainly not economical reasons, bought two tickets to the Sugar Bowl. He is a Ute fan and got caught up in the hype. He failed to figure out the costs associated with getting to and staying in New Orleans for the game. He put his tickets on sale on Stub Hub and eBay, finally selling them today for a 30 percent loss.

Bowls are for saps. They mean less than a team's out-of-conference, regular season games. The fictitious BCS Championship game is the only one worth watching. I just hope the sagging economy will force a few of these bowl games to go broke. (A 16 team playoff would be a financial windfall for the NCAA. The only stumbling block would be the home/away issues and the existing bowls. Fans are not going to travel to two or more games which would be required for most of the teams.)

PSS: with football over, I have canceled my cable TV. Now I can concentrate on my reading list. I have over 50 books I want to reading in 2009; no TV sports to distract will help.

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