2007-11-30 / On Second Thought

It's not a criticism, it's an observation.

How to be a football expert
Mike Cox

The college football season is winding down. It's been a memorable year, maybe the strangest and most volatile ever. Upset has been redefined. Parity is alive and well in the NCAA, and our numerous TV experts are looking like fools. Never too smart to begin with, the current talking heads are unable to make sense of parity, and are scrambling to justify their cushy jobs.

Since I understand how important college football is in these parts, and because I'm a helpful kinda guy, I'm letting you in on my secrets. If you want to look like you know what happens in college football and be the envy of your friends and co- workers, stick this column to the fridge and refer to it often.

1. The best athlete on any team is the second string quarterback. The coaches are too stupid to realize this even though they see him in practice every day. If he got to play more, your team would win more games.

2. TV commentators and referees hate your team. Everything the television guys say is designed to malign your team and make the other guys look better than they really are. The officials are waiting to call holding or illegal block in the back on one of your innocent players right when a big play occurs, and you have some momentum.

3. Your offensive coordinator is the dumbest guy in the stadium. How this idiot got to be a coach is beyond comprehension. He should be teaching soccer to kindergarten girls rather than in charge of your team's high- powered offense. He calls plays that won't work just to piss you off.

4. Football is a simple game. Any play not successful shouldn't have been called. Execution has nothing to do with it. A coach should know ahead of time whether a play will work and not call the unsuccessful ones; especially running plays up the middle. We can sit in the top row of the end zone and know instinctively if a play will fail; right after it's over.

5. Your biggest rival is full of thugs and criminals. Where do they get these guys? We are able to find plenty of talented players with good character. Sure, sometimes one of them gets in a little trouble, but it isn't anything serious, like when those felons on the other team do it.

6. Important Phrases. When you really want to impress someone, use one of the following. The TV guys will beat a path to your door.

"Our team controls its own destiny."

"He operates really well in space."

"Momentum has definitely changed jerseys."

"He might be one of the best to ever play his position."

"Neither team deserves to lose this game."

And my favorite "He got his swagger back."

Being a football expert is like most things in life. Perception is the most important part. Learn to apply the clichés I've listed, and you will soon be considered the most knowledgeable fan in your inner circle. Use this power wisely, and call me with any questions. You can thank me later.

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