Please enjoy the thoughts and musings of our friend, supporter, and long-time contributor Art van Bodegraven Jr., who passed away on June 18, 2017. Art was a prolific writer and had amassed a collection of unpublished blog posts he had planned to run well into the future. To honor his memory, we will continue to post these remaining blogs as he had intended. If you’ve been a fan of The Art of Art blog, check out our tribute.
I understand the siren call that lures unwary sailors into dives that make tattoo parlors look like spiritual retreats. ESPN, with pockets full of cash, is easily able to seduce the San Diego State Aztecs into a den of swirling cigarette smoke and cheap cologne.
Boise State and the like will sacrifice much to gain visibility - and a hefty check to salve their consciences. In short, that's how TV schedules get populated and we have the amusements of college football on odd nights of the week.
Here's the bottom line. The classic fall football season begins on the first Saturday of September, often after Labor Day. Exceptions in recent years might feature the mighty Toledo Rockets (not to be confused with the Central Michigan Rockettes).
But, this year, and not for the first time, the Buckeyes of The Ohio State University will be opening up new game plans on August 31, with hopes for a public flogging of Indiana University. I, to be blunt, don't get it. It's not like the university is feeding street people, and needs the money. And, it's certainly not to raise flagging visibility.'
Is this simply supply and demand? And, is there a check big enough to justify upsetting the traditions of over a century? Or, is it naked greed, getting what you can just because it's there for the taking?
Full disclosure. I'm a fan. A borderline rabid fan. College football is a perfectly lovely game, and each year I'm persuaded that TOSU will be playing for the National Championship. But, I'm embarrassed about selling out for some paltry compensation in order to please the gods of Bristol, CT, for whom Disney is seen as a "class" act.
btw, the traditional end of the season has been the weekend before Thanksgiving. Now,things wind up two days past the feasting. That's a little easier to take, with the holiday shot anyway. And, a couple of long-time rivalries have been played after Thanksgiving, as it is.
So, relax and enjoy. The games beat CSI reruns handily, even if they are damaged goods, diluted by cash and announcers from the "B" Team.
In our workaday world, you gain not much by getting into the game too early, but could fall behind if too late. You want the temps to reach proficiency coincidentally with the big event(s) - Christmas, Hallowe'en, Valentine's Day, whatever. The mark of really good teams is reaching a peak of performance to align with volume challenges. And, being too early, just hangin' until the real work arrives is boith costly and creates miserable work attitudes.
In short, you want to make that check from ESPN really count for optimal impact.