29 April 2008

Graham's Opening Salvo

Readers, welcome to The Rivalry, Esq., and let me say one thing to begin: I truly enjoy the chance to blog about issues and ideas of social, legal, athletic, and political importance. I have been waiting my whole life to appear important and intelligent. This...is my chance.

But seriously, I have a little credibility to discuss these things; I did my undergrad with some progressive hippies at Miami of Ohio and I am currently slogging through law school, one exam away from being done with my 2nd year. I also played high school sports and won the 2003 Miami Intramural Sports Trivia Competition (it was in a Jeopardy format, my 2 roommates and I took the title on the final question).

"I have been waiting my whole life to appear important and intelligent.  This...is my chance"

I will leave this first post full of the most important questions and pressing issues on my exam- frazzled mind. I am sure this can only get more interesting...
  • Should the 3rd year of law school be modified to be more constructive...or eliminated completely? Is there authority on this?
  • Are there too many lawyers? What do we do about all these sharks in the water?
  • Should law school be more practical to the actual practice of law? (Not that it isn't right now...mm...)
  • Should the Supreme Court members be constructive deities in American Law?
  • How will the Rich Rodriguez Spread Option translate to Michigan football in the Big Ten?
  • Should the BCS be eliminated, modified, or left alone?
  • Is it acceptable that a large amount of D-1 college football players are not academically eligible...or capable of succeeding academically?
  • The SEC is the most fascinating conference in college football hands down...Any argument?
  • Should college football players be paid? Or are education and perks enough?
  • Who are the best college football players/lawyers of all time? (Gerald Ford, etc)

Welcome. Jim Delany sucks.

I'd intended to write a fine introduction for this effort, and yet I already find myself swept into the rapid of current events.

This afternoon, Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany did his best to play the part of sorry scapegoat at the annual meeting for the BCS apologists.  "Ask others how strongly they feel for a call for change," said Delany in response to the much lauded "Plus 1" effort,  "I don't see it."

"Does the sports world really need another blog, another bleeding ventricle of spirit, frustration, and irrationality?  Absolutely"

Delany of course is talking about a new proposal, heralded by SEC Commissioner Mike Slive, that would restructure the bowl process to better match two candidates for a championship matchup.  Rather than "separating the men from the boys" (to borrow an obviously gender-sensitive phrase) in December, the proposal would let January performance decide January play.

But Delany doesn't buy it.  Why?  Because it detracts from the majesty of the Grandaddy-of-all-Bowls, the Rose Bowl (presented by Citi -- or whoever else antes up) that each year pits a one-loss loser in the Big Ten (the winner, naturally is playing for the title) against USC.  Not surprisingly, the Trojans -- who suffered an upset loss the previous September -- grind ax.  And Nielsen ratings fall to FOX reality levels by the third quarter.

This, incidentally is the same guy who gave us The Big Ten Network -- a fine amalgamation of college-station graphics with prime time programming (Northwestern tennis anyone?).  A channel that incidentally, I can't get -- despite the fact that I live three-quarters of a mile from The Ohio State University.  

Does the sports world really need another blog, another bleeding ventricle of spirit, frustration, and irrationality?

Absolutely.  And we've created a concept certain to stretch the chains.  The amici wars.  Two law students.  One a life-long Buckeye.  The other, a Wolverine.  Ready to take things to the courts, or at least the point of ridiculousness, to liberate the Big Ten from Jim Delany and 1975. 

Jim, you've given us Penn State, seven bowls, instant replay, and CBS coverage of Indiana losing in the first round of the NCAA tournament, but it's time you go back to North Carolina.  (The ACC could certainly use your help).  

Six commissioners might not be ready, but the college sports world demands a Plus 1 format. Even Congress is considering using it's Article 1, § 8 power (or at least the Sherman Antitrust Act) to regulate the BCS.  

But why am I, the two-time empty-handed Buckeye an advocate for this kind of change?  It's simple, really.  Show me a season in which we don't have a shot of making the top-10.