Sunday, November 12, 2006

Style Points in Football?

For any of you following the college football national championship race, you have consistently heard commentators speak of style points being important to whoever plays in the championship game. I generally think the BCS flawed, but the idea that a team has to win 'stylishly' proves that the BCS is also ruining football. Do you think the great Nebraska, Alabama, Oklahoma, Army, and other national championship games from before the BCS won because of style points? The Bear is probably rolling over in his grave (kinda like his team is rolling over in games this year) just at the thought of having to have style to win a national championship.
Since style points have become so important, however, I want to note a few style points that have been overlooked but are nonetheless important in today's football world:
1) Cleats that are the same color as team jerseys. Talk about stylish, when Tennessee wears orange cleats to complement their orange jerseys, pants, undershirts, and underwear, they are racking up some serious style points regardless of the score or how many times their band plays Rocky Top.
2) Coaches wearing 5 shirts. If you have seen an Auburn game lately, you should have noticed that Tommy Tuberville wears a vest, a short sleeve shirt, a long sleeve shirt, an undershirt, and 3 other shirts while he walks up and down the sideline. Very stylish. Too bad they did not beat Georgia.
3) Braids hanging out from under the back of the helmet. In years gone by, these would be used to tackle these players but in today's modern age of style points, they may help teams reach the national championship.
4) Unsportsmanlike penalties. Are there any greater shows of 'style' than when a player does a dance in the endzone or high steps into the endzone or spikes the ball in the endzone? In light of the current emphasis on style points, I think we should replace the unsportsmanlike penalty with a judging system that awards points to the most stylish moves after a touchdown. This would be a good place to use the replay system: the guys sitting in the booth don't seem to be able to get many calls correct, probably because they are too entertained by the players' stylistic celebrations. Instead of making them review such meaningless things as whether a player scored or intercepted the ball or was down, we could give them scorecards to judge which players had the best post-play celebration and then award points to their team based on the judges decision.
In my book, style is when you play quality opponents and actually win; not when you play a team that is 2-20 over the past 2 seasons and beat them 77-0. Unfortunately the football pundits don't see it that way. Lets hope their ideas go out of style and we can return to football being about winning and losing.

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