As much as I like to impugn the honor of college football, the game still has a soft spot in my heart, largely due to its ability to give us games like the following on any given autumn Saturday. The first full decade of the BCS served up its share of duds, but those were almost certainly outweighed by title games that will never be forgotten. It’s also worth noting that the sport that proclaims to have the most meaningful regular season did earn the most regular-season games in its top ten.
Final cuts to this list—which comprises many unforgettable finishes and frantic final quarters, not to mention some outright barnburners—include Stanford’s upset of USC at the Coliseum, Texas and Michigan’s classic 2005 Rose Bowl, Matt Ryan’s last-second heroics to keep BC unbeaten at Virginia Tech in 2007, and a personal favorite: Rutgers’ 18-point comeback and upset of Louisville in Piscataway in 2006.
And if you don’t know what No. 1 is…come on.
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ESPN ran two stories yesterday about Michael Crabtree and his contract situation. For those unfamiliar, Crabtree was selected tenth overall, by my own San Francisco 49ers, in last spring’s NFL Draft, but he has not, as of yet, signed with the team.
The dispute stems from the fact that the team feels that Crabtree should be paid like the second wide receiver taken in the draft (i.e. slightly less than what the first receiver selected, Darrius Heyward-Bey, got paid), which he was. Crabtree, however, feels like he should be paid like the best receiver taken in the draft, which he was.
Now, I don’t intend to dwell on this particular dispute, since Bill Simmons addressed it in his inaugural “Miller Lite Great Call of the Week,” and the only person criticizing Crabtree now is the less-than-respected Scoop Jackson.
But I think it’s interesting that someone like Crabtree can have his character and intelligence questioned for employing, essentially, his only bargaining tool. The fact that Crabtree is refusing to sign and play for the 49ers is being interpreted as a sign that his inner circle is nefarious and that he is not a “team player.”
This is a ridiculous double standard that athletes are held to. The contract rules that many athletes play under, particularly in the NFL, are incredibly unfair. Continue reading »