Saturday, August 30, 2014

Saturday: Play Ball!

Wait, that's not right.  There isn't an iconic term to describe the kick-off (heh) of the college football season, so toss the coin, choose to kick or receive, and let's get underway.  In honor of the first Saturday of college ball season, here's my UCR opening weekend post:

Sunday, September 09, 2007

The Rules

I missed this today before I posted, but it would have fit right in with the lead two items in this morning’s post: Time for the new rules for college football fandom.” Samples:

1. As a fan, you have to pick a school, one school, same as if you were filling out applications to, you know, go to school there. You may not be a fan of a conference, teams from a specific state, "West Coast football" or college football in general. Nobody is a fan of college football in general, not even Lee Corso. Nor may you root for Harvard and Yale, any more than you could matriculate at both places, unless you're really, really smart, in which case you're probably building prototype military surveillance nanobots in your MIT dorm room, and/or devising a computerized ranking system* to shame Jeff Sagarin.

1a. Under extenuating circumstances, however, you may have up to three Division I-A rooting allegiances, so long as the schools meet the following criteria:

(a) Your birthplace/family school – especially if an inheritance is at stake, or if a campus library bears your last name.
(b) Al(most)ma mater – the school you transferred from.
(c) The school that actually handed you a diploma. Or would have, if you hadn't finished three credits short.
(d) Your spouse's school, especially if the program is vastly superior to your own, or your spouse cares waaaay more than you do, in which case: good call on getting married!
(e) You're a bandwagon-jumping, low-self-esteem weenie and scurry from Notre Dame to Miami to Ohio State to USC to Boise State depending on the year, the polls and the amount of water flooding into the ship.

If you can't be true to a school, at least be true to your own weaselly nature.


4. If you attended a lower-division or NAIA school, you're allowed to pick a D-I school of your choice. But you must consistently root for that school year in and year out, and it's preferred that the school be geographically close to you.

4a. Or you can just root for Appalachian State every week.

4b. Notre Dame? How very original.


9. You are allowed to root freely against the following schools for no specific reasons: Notre Dame; Notre Dame in their puke-green jerseys; Notre Dame when playing on "Triumph of the Will"-shaming propaganda house organ NBC; USC; any school that plays its fight song approximately 4,387 times per game like USC; Michigan; Miami; Ohio State; any school like Ohio State with a pretentious "the" in front of its name, because otherwise how would we know which Ohio State university they were talking about?; any school coached by Steve Spurrier; any school coached by Nick Saban. (ed: I’d add “any team from Florida” to this list, but that’s a minor quibble.)

You may have noticed that I’m in the 4b fan category. Given that I never went to college, I’m free to root for the school of my choice, under rules Four and 1a (d) above, even if that means I root for my former spouse’s school (The Second Mrs. Pennington is a Notre Dame alumna). And I have been an ND fan for nearly 30 years now and don’t foresee any change in that status on the near or far horizons. It’s way too late to change allegiances at this point in life. While we’re at it, I should mention I’m a fan of, and root for, at least three schools, depending on who’s playing whom: ND, Michigan (the ten year living-in-Detroit connection), and Air Force. For reasons that should be obvious now. The only time I’m torn is when ND plays Air Force…and I well and truly don’t know what to do during that game. Very traumatic, that.

So, to the author of “The Rules,” especially Rule 4b: Put a sock in it. I like ‘em, otherwise.
So there's that.  It's been our practice for the last year or so to post one of the week's best viral vids, taken from here.  There are always exceptions to the rules and today is one of 'em (besides that, fully half of this week's viral vids have to do with ice buckets and we've seen enough of those).  But I DO have a video for ya:



  1. You missed one, that is that you actually WORK for the school in question... :-)

  2. Well, as a loyal Spartan alumnus, I root for three schools every Saturday:

    - Michigan State (good days to be a Spartan, these past few seasons have been)

    - Whoever is playing against Michigan (no exceptions*; not even for conference pride in the Rose Bowl. What's good for them is bad for us, and vice versa); This week, this doubled up with 4a. . . *(when Michigan plays Ohio State, it is truly a tough call; but you know I was pullin' for the Blue to blow the 2-point conversion last fall, so there ya go. . .)

    - Whoever is playing Notre Dame (Frauds, frauds, frauds, frauds, frauds, frauds, frauds); My kids once asked me how I root when Michigan plays Notre Dame; my answer - "a scoreless tie, with lots of injuries"

    - Depending on my mood, I will often go with #9 above, Saban option. But with us, it's not just a rivalry thing, or a jealousy thing; with us, it's personal. As it always is with Spartans. . .

    I realize that this puts us largely at cross-purposes, but I wouldn't want you to have any false impressions. We can have a beer together after the season's over. Or, you know, any day one of your teams isn't playing my Spartans. . .


  3. (ahem)

    Beer, beer for old Notre Dame
    Shake up a cocktail, cheer in your name
    Send a freshman out for gin, and
    Don't let a sober sophomore in.

    We never stagger, we never fall,
    We sober up on wood alcohol
    While our drunken sons are staggering
    Down to the bar for more.

  4. I have three favorite teams:
    the Cal Bears ...always,
    whoever is playing Stanford, and
    whoever is playing USC

  5. @ Jim: ESPN missed one, not me!

    @ Rob: TSMP taught me those words, long ago and far away. She lived by 'em, too.

    @ Skip: I don't much care for USC either. Yer other two? I'm ambivalent.

    @ Craig: Heh.I think it would be fun to have a few beers and watch ND-Mich St or Mich St-Michigan with you. A LOT o' fun!

    Sparty HAS been on a roll the last few years. That said, so have the Irish. I went through some long, dark, and painful years with ND, and seem to be going through much of the same with AF the last few years. I suppose it makes for an interesting season. I totally understand what you mean about Saban. There's precious little love for him in Baton Rouge, too.


Just be polite... that's all I ask.