A week or so back, the NCAA amended college football’s (and as well as the other sports’) recruiting policy to forbid coaches and recruiters from text messaging high school players. This may not seem like a particularly big deal. But for someone like me, an avid fan of college football, this development is meaningful, significant, and a reflection of how terrifying the machinery of collegiate athletics.
Those that know me well know that I have a near psychotic obsession with Boston College sports. I’m a football season ticket holder, belong to two B.C. sports message boards and donate to my alma mater’s athletic fund with regularity. I’ve got a lot of pride in the school that educated me, and I cheer like a madman for my Eagles.
I am, of course, no different than the millions of other red-blooded college sports fans that live and die by their teams. I know Notre Dame alums that travel to South Bend every year to give a nod to Touchdown Jesus and watch a game. I know folks from Harvard and Yale that describe their times in school as simply “we were 3-1 during my tenure.” I know families in Florida that fiercely argue over where you could get a better show: in The Swamp or at The U. Heck, I know that 92,000 people went to Alabama’s spring scrimmage. Their spring scrimmage. This kind of pride (and the rivalries that it spawns) create brotherhoods rooted in cultish devotion. And while I love being part of a community that exhibits such passion, I realize that this passion manifests itself in peculiar and often disturbing ways. Folks want success so bad that their love becomes a destructive force, driving coaches out of a job and tearing up the lives of the kids that play. Read More
My original plan for the day involved a stirring commentary on the Boston Marathon, and how it reflects the wonderful sports culture of my beloved city. I had the framework in place and was starting to organize my thoughts and observations. I was all ready to start. And then all of my planning went into the trash can, courtesy of the starting rotation of the New York Yankees.
Mike Mussina and Carl Pavano found their way on to the Disabled List this week, joining fellow hurlers Chien-Ming Wang and Jeff Karstens, who have been riding the medicated pine since opening day. Three of the five projected starters and the projected long man are now out of action, with the Yankees sitting at 5-6. With the season at just two weeks old, itâ€™s a bit early to start lamenting a lost campaign, but this is the kind of devastatingly bad luck that can doom a club.
At the behest of the Powers That Be here at nerdsonsports.com, I have laid claim to Mondays and will be posting my darkest secrets and most ludicrous conspiracy theories on the first workday of every week.Â So this is Business Day One, your source for ten minutes of sports-related distraction every Monday.Â Here we go.
The day job that allows me to pay my bills involves a lot of quantitative and trend analysis.Â More than “a lot,” actually.Â “A terrifying amount” would be the best way to describe it.Â As much as I want to quarantine that part of my brain to prevent it from affecting the rest, I need to accept my station in life as an Analyst and realize that my trend and variance geekery is a part of me.Â As such, for my first Business Day One column, I offer three trend observations that have been on my mind this past week.
1.Â Aging NBA big men are a lot like aging MLB left-handed pitchers, in that they can both hang in their respectiveÂ games much longer than they really should.Â