Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Congress should stay away from sporting debates

The issue of fair play in athletics is set to go in front of Congress again Wednesday, as a House and Energy subcommittee has called a hearing on the "deeply flawed" Bowl Championship Series of college football.

No, I'm not going to focus this entire column on whether this action is necessary or what should be changed … but I knew you'd want my opinion, so I'll give it to you quickly.

To me, this seems like just another way for our legislators to pass another Wednesday afternoon. If co-workers can debate this topic for 10 minutes by the water cooler at their leisure, why not let Congress spend a whole day on it?


My guess is that it will just turn out to be the equivalent of a conversation between you and your argumentative roommate. One guy is going to say that a playoff system is the only way to go, while one will say that there is too much tradition and money behind the bowls to just get rid of them. It'll be a fun argument, but not a whole lot is going to change.

Personally, I'm fine with the way things are. There's going to be arguing no matter what system is used, so just pick something and go with it and stop giving me a headache.

On the other hand, not too long ago, Congress stepped in to control steroid testing and consequences in baseball.

All of this has led me to wonder, what's next? Which sport and which topic will find its way to Washington down the road?

I figure I'll offer them a few suggestions — my Congress Christmas list, so to speak — since they seem to have nothing better to do than debate and study sports.

Let's start with the NHL and the biggest question of when it is coming back.

What? … It's already back? Oh, yeah, that's right, I forgot about that Blackhawks game I caught a few weeks ago.

Seriously, new shootouts, goalie rules and whatever the hell else they changed, I haven't even noticed. In fact, I've watched more Champions League soccer matches than NHL games this season and I don't feel bad about it.

But I do like to watch hockey, so if Congress could please figure out a way to get me to even realize that the NHL is actually in action, that would be great.

Oh, and while we're on the subject of hockey, lets talk NCAA, and more specifically its postseason tournament — and even more explicitly, the PairWise Rankings. Something has to be done with that system.

You think the BCS is flawed? Try dealing with a system that can sometimes penalize a team when it wins a game. Sure, you think Oregon got snubbed in this year's Bowl run, but they're ranking in the BCS system did not decrease as they won contests.

And why not throw the NBA into the fray?

I'd like to hold a hearing to challenge the league to make traveling against the rules again, to force teams to play defense and to raise the rims about two-and-a-half feet. Oh, and can they get rid of that stupid semi-circular no-charging zone while they're at it?

If all the other professional sports get to take a trip to the nation's capital, we cannot forget the NFL.

First and foremost, Congress should hold a study of Cincinnati wide receiver Chad Johnson's antics and find a way to make it illegal for the league to fine him for as long as he continues to be hilarious — and I don't see it ending anytime soon.

If you could call together a search party for the Eagles and Packers, that would be nice, too.

Oh, and perhaps more importantly, find Jim Mora and make sure he gets a job. The NFL is diddly-poo without our favorite head coach. I think he'd be a perfect fit for the Lions, or Packers, or Titans or Texans. After all, they all play poorly enough that we could enjoy a handful of the classic Mora blowups and tirades before the season is over.

Last but not least, how about college hoops? Oh wait, college basketball is perfect, especially now that the kids almost have to come to school to showcase their talents for at least one year before going to the Association.

I realize that my list is long, but figured since Congress has some time on its hands, why not bring the real issues to the forefront?

Steroids? BCS? Yeah, they're pretty important, I suppose, but let's get down to the greater things at stake here, like finding Mora a job before the "Playoffs"!

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