Labor Day has come and gone. Nights up North are getting a big of a tingle in the air. It’s that time of year again.
Time for football.
Last week I attended the Cowboy Kick Off Classic in Jerry World, which featured a No. 7 TCU Horn Frog team against the No. 22 ranked Beavers of Oregon State. This meant putting up with all the annoying stuff that entails a visit to the house that public tax dollars built.
To start off, parking is an amazing $30. This is in a place that is completely surrounded by…parking lots.
I mean, it’s not like Chicago or New Orleans or Saint Louis which have actual large buildings and urban areas and parking shortages. Nope, this is Arlington, America’s largest city with absolutely zero mass transit and all the charm of an airport tarmac since it is basically a large strip mall.
But parking is $30, none the less.
When you get to the stadium, one must enter in their assigned gate. No going inside and then walking around in the shade to find your seat, buster. Nope. You are not allowed in unless it is your specified gate. Jawohl, commandant.
Once you are at your gate, lines are separated into men and women and there is a good 30 minute wait. Why? Because they frisk everyone.
I’ve been to many stadiums across this fair land…baseball, football, car racing, you name it…and never have been frisked to get into a ball game.
I kept wondering why. If some nut job middle terrorist from either the Middle East or Middle America decided to blow up Arlington, would anyone really notice? (Whup...thar goes another car lot).
When you finally get in, dying of thirst and dripping like a worn out radiator hose after standing outside in 98 degree heat for a dang hour, you go to get water. For $5.00.
Or a beer. For $8.50.
Sometimes it hurts to follow football.
At least, however, it was a good game between good teams. Unlike some of the other early season “contests” being played.
A couple of years ago the big time college powers begged, moaned and whined to get a 12th game.
Once the NCAA caved in, they promptly used it to schedule a complete cupcake game. Now fans get to see early season debacles like Florida State versus Samford (wonder if Redd Foxx is their coach…and if his son plays quarterback). Penn State versus powerhouse Youngstown State. And other such spectacles.
They do this so the coach of Big Bully U can get a full contact scrimmage early in the season and Little Punk U gets a big fat paycheck.
People will tell you this also allows the athletes at Little Punk U to “enjoy” the festive atmosphere that a visit to Big Bully Stadium entails. Don’t believe it.
I’ve got a bud that played strong safety for North Texas, who annually serve as the ritualistic whipping boy for the 800 pound gorillas in the area.
I asked him, “What was it like to play the Oklahoma Sooners in Norman.”
“It sucked," he said. "Getting your ass kicked in front of 80,000 screaming fans was kind of like a being a Christian in the Roman Coliseum against the Lions. Just totally sucked. And it was pretty dang painful too...them boys are real big, real strong and real, real fast.”
This week, we have a game scheduled that really pushes the edge on the whole mismatch o’ rama thing.
The mighty Presbyterian Blue Hose are taking on the Clemson Tigers at Clemson’s infamous home field, which is nicknamed “Death Valley”
The Blue Hose, who play in the division below Clemson, went 0-11 last year, and started off the year with a nice 13-53 pasting at the hands of a crappy Wake Forrest team. Clemson played for the ACC championship last year, and is stocked with so many studs that their third string could put a good whuppin’ on the Blue Hose.
This game is football sado masochism. I wonder if they’ll hand out Clemson Tiger gag balls and paddles, just to get into the spirit of it. Maybe Clemson can score 100.
We do have a few hum dingers on tap this coming weekend, however. Here are some predictions:
The Grumpy Bowl, No. 14 Penn State at No. 1 Alabama.
Grumpy old man Jo Pa leads his troops down to Bamie, led by grumpy young man Nick Saban (last seen smiling when he ran over the neighbor’s cat). Bama outlasts the Lions at home, 20-14.
No. 12 Miami at No. 2 Ohio State.
Miami ain't gitin' no respect. Heck, Craig James, the most popular football talking head in Lubbock, does not even think they are top 25 material. I think the Canes will makes em’ nervous, but the Buckeyes prevail 21-17.
No. 17 Florida State at No. 10 Oklahoma
The Sooners were most unimpressive in their opening day victory over Utah State while the Seminoles pounded the snot out of Samford. But the game is in Oklahoma, Stoops will pull out all the plugs, and Boomer Sooner will prevail 20-10.
Those are the big match ups this week. Watch for my cupcakes of the week special, coming Friday, which profiles the biggest mismatch in each conference each week.
Although Presby against Clemson takes the cake.