LSU@Alabama: Vindicating the BCS
I don’t mean to rehash old debates (who am I kidding? Of course I do. This is a blog after all), but another college football season means another post where I attempt to defend the BCS. And, of course, this weekend’s LSU-Alabama game presents a great opportunity for such a defense. Saturday’s highly anticipated SEC showdown would not be nearly as important if the BCS were replaced with the playoff that so many, including my colleague Tim, desire: A game that will likely make one team’s season while breaking another would be effectively meaningless, since both teams would make any conceivable playoff even with one loss.
This type of game is unique: It’s exciting in a way that no other mid-season game, in any sport, is ever exciting. This is a GOOD thing. It’s asinine that fans of college football want to kill the best thing about the sport, but the collective fascination with the concept of a playoff makes people say crazy things. This is the only thing that could lead someone like Dan Wolken to use the Alabama-LSU game as a way to attack the BCS. Continue reading »
Nobody likes steroids. On a list of things that are popular, steroids probably fall somewhere between cancer and traffic. While the popular outrage over steroid use in baseball has diminished recently, the primary reason for this is not any change in attitude; it’s mainly due to the fact that so many players have now been revealed as steroid users that fans have generally become jaded about the entire subject.
Most fans, however, still think that steroid use is objectionable, and that if Bud Selig could wave a magic wand and eliminate them from the game, then he should.
What exactly is it that makes steroids so despised, and should we so hastily vilify their use?
Now, a lot of people have made the argument that steroid users should be allowed in the Hall of Fame, and that their accomplishments should not be erased or totally invalidated. Even Bill James recently released a paper saying that he expects steroid use to be tolerated in the future—though his article is descriptive as opposed to normative.
But it doesn’t seem that anybody, aside from Jose Canseco, is actually advocating that baseball lift its ban on steroids.
Well, I am. Steroids are not bad for baseball; banning steroids is bad for baseball. Continue reading »