I’m an SEC kid. Florida grad. I love me some SEC. S-E-C! S-E-C!
That being said, watching the SEC win its sixth straight championship against… itself… last night was as insufferable as watching something you are truly happy about can possibly be. Like watching your college graduation, but scored by The Wiggles.
There is a difference between appreciating something and actually having to sit through it. I appreciate Moby Dick as a great work. I am not, however, going to read it when I go to the beach this weekend. The last Alabama-LSU game – the *ahem* “Game of the Century – which LSU won on an overtime field goal, was undoubtedly dull in exactly this way, but at least it was close and hard-fought at both ends. (That said, it was one of the most painful sports-watching experiences ever.) The Alabama-LSU national championship we saw last night managed to be both as dull as their last meeting and completely one-sided.
People complain about how watching Tim Tebow, when it is not “Tebow Time,” is painful. Which it is. We watch Tebow for the occasional thrill. For the fourth quarter. For overtime. We slog through the rest. Watching LSU, previously undefeated and invincible, struggle to gain 92 yards (92 TOTAL YARDS!) from scrimmage last night was like watching a team full of Tebows for four quarters. And Tebow Time never came. It was all slog no reward. The only real way to enjoy last night’s game was to encase yourself in houndstooth and shout “Roll Tide!” Even then, at a certain point I feel you had to look at the poor LSU offense and plead “Stop. Even this is too much. It hurts.”
You know who really didn’t enjoy last night’s game – the biggest Tebow of them all, LSU quarterback and sad-sack of the week Jordan Jefferson. This Alabama defense is legendary, but can anyone not pin some of the blame for last night’s astounding shut-out on this sullen-looking young man who got his head so spun around by the Tide that it seemed the only place he could throw the ball was to his right and left side! (Pretty much his only forward pass was the most ill-advised shovel pass I have ever seen.)
Alabama deserves all the credit it is due after the first bowl game shut-out in the BCS era (sorry Oklahoma State, try again next year?) but they surely did not deserve the rapt attention of the people I watched the game with. Remember when the baseball season ended and fans were rewarded with the most thrilling evening of sports anyone can ever remember? Or when the St. Louis Cardinals treated us all to heart-stopping moment after heart-stopping moment? Yeah that didn’t happen here. I firmly believe football, particularly college football, has stolen the mantle of America’s game from baseball. And the SEC is the purest, most rowdy, most amazing evocation of that. But it was telling that – on a night when we should have been celebrating the astounding heights the Southeastern Conference has reached – a room full of people (and SEC graduates no less) watching another southern powerhouse anoint itself king of the roost kept grumbling, “Man, I wish I was watching Oregon right now…”
We’re only human, sports gods! Throw us a bone?