by Tom Weppel
NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
After an off-season dominated by the NBA lockout, and vast amounts of negotiating and arguing between the NBPA, Commissioner David Stern, and the owners on a Collective Bargaining deal, the NBA will finally start playing, beginning this weekend with a week of preseason games.
In this last week, we’ve seen teams open their training camps in preparation for the season, with players either signing free agent deals with teams, or teams trying to trade players while trying to build rosters. The main ‘names’ in the news have been Chris Paul and Dwight Howard, among others. There are still a number of guys out there available to sign with any team, and a number of teams trying to determine what, if anything, they can and will do to adjust their rosters.
With all this being done in the time frame we are seeing, it should be interesting to see how the level, style, and quality of play will be for NBA games this season. Obviously, with a reduced amount of time for preparation, combined with a more hectic, condensed schedule about to be played, things will no doubt be different from past seasons. It will certainly create a vast amount of ineptitude on the court, leading to some lame performances.
It should also be interesting to see how the NBA fan base and the public all take things as the season plays out. The feeling is there will be a certain number of fans who haven’t appreciated how this whole thing has been handled, by the owners OR the players, and will need some time to get back into the swing for a rejuvenated pleasure.
There will also be a certain group who won’t even show up for the first past of the season, almost in protest.
Then you’ll have a group that hasn’t cared much at all about the whole thing from the beginning to the present, and will simply come hang out and enjoy some games.
All in all, the bottom line is that the NBA season is cranking up…and we’ll see how everything shakes out for all parties involved.
Now that the regular season has concluded, we will begin what could and should be considered the ‘second season’…Bowl games!
A long time ago, there only were a couple of Bowl games played annually. Most of them were indeed quite meaningful, played on New Years Day, and it was an honor to get in, participate, and play. After they were all finished, then the Media and Coaches would have a final vote and decide who they thought should be considered the #1 team in the nation!
Of course, things are completely different now. There are THIRTY-FIVE Bowl games, all with wild and crazy names, played at various locations, everywhere from Hawaii to Detroit, and from Shreveport, LA to the Bronx, NYC!
And it seems anybody and everybody is playing in a Bowl game these days! Fifteen teams are playing with a semi-decent 7-5 record, thirteen teams are playing with a rather-lame 6-6 record, and even one team (UCLA) is playing with a LOSING record of 6-7!
Even some of the schools that are participating don’t carry very much weight, by any means. Without question, Ohio, Florida International, Arkansas State, and Western Michigan should be considered ‘marquee’ teams! They are not going to draw fans, followers, or TV viewers…I promise!
Bottom line here is that, in my not-so-humble opinion, there are too many Bowl games, and the structure is a mess! There perhaps needs to be a 16-32 team playoff tournament, incorporating the most prominent Bowl games played.
THAT would work. Guaranteed!
But for now, its nothing except a plethora of Bowl games, all muddled together in scheduling. I thought I’d share with you my list of potential Bowl games and NAMES for the future…since there are so many, why not have more!
How about the TOILET Bowl! Have the two worst teams play, with the game being staged in an awful setting…cold weather, bad seating, bad food, and overweight cheerleaders, etc. I’m sure that would go over wonderfully!
You could also have the SALAD Bowl! Find two teams that are completely screwed up in various ways and means, then for the game, have them each wear the other teams’ uniforms! I think that would kick ass!
You could also have the HOMELESS Bowl! Invite two teams that play their games in stadiums off-campus, then require each offense to play with a vagabond from the local homeless shelter! There’s no question, that would draw an enthusiastic audience!
So…there you go! As you can see, the opportunities are endless! They would certainly create some intrigue and interest in various forms. Many college football fans would absolutely enjoy supporting their school! Above and beyond all that, it doesn’t seem to be too far removed from all that is being staged as we speak!
I hope I got a chuckle out of you from my list! Just don’t realize my names aren’t too far fetched! This weekend, there are three games on Saturday…Wyoming and Temple in the New Mexico Bowl, Louisiana-Lafayette and San Diego St. in the New Orleans Bowl, and Utah State and Ohio in the FAMOUS Idaho Potato Bowl!
I guess all I can say is…enjoy.