Until I moved to Florida, I never took college football seriously. In 7 years of college education (wasted), I wasn’t even certain my school even had a team. I still don’t give a rat’s ass about it, but now I’m surrounded by people who do, so I take it seriously enough to sneer at, insult its fans, and find things wrong about it. Type of guy I am.
So the news that Florida State University, another pillar of “amateur” sports, has been scarred by scandal is a pleasant early Christmas gift. Corruption, cheating, indifference to rule-breaking, cover-up……just another day at the office in the world of college football.
I try to get somebody at FSU on the phone to talk about this, but it’s no-go. So last night I wander over to the Liquor & Rubber Balls Sports Bar & Grille & Bar and seek out resident barfly, professional gambler, and all-time sportshole Duck Diamonds.
“Pain in the ass,” he says. “Really screws up the line on the Music City Bowl.”
The Music what? You mean the melody line?
“No, numbnuts. The gambling line. FSU has to replace 2 dozen players. That cripples up the team like a too-tight jock. All because of what — cheating on tests? Gimme a break.”
Well, look Duck. Cheating is wrong, isn’t it? That’s why it’s not allowed.
“Oh, balls. Like academics means anything to these kids. They’re athletes, professionals. Their job is to make money for the school, not ace their courses. If they wanted an education, they wouldn’t have picked FSU, now would they?”
Well, very few make it pro. Aren’t they’re supposed to learn something at college as a back-up?
“Man, you and Toto really miss Kansas, don’t you. Colleges with serious football teams like this one don’t teach squat. It ain’t what they’re there for. That’s why in Florida the PhDs make peanuts while the coach is a millionaire. This whole charade with making the kids pass tests is a scam, a cover, a way to do sports business on the taxpayers’ dime. It’s called ‘higher education,’ but it’s really subsidized sports biz.”
What about the sportsmanship angle? Cheating is cheating. Amateur or pro.
“Grow up. It ain’t cheating unless you’re caught, and then you’re just hungry and competitive and willing to do anything to win. They like that in the pros. They like that in business. It shows commitment to mission.”
You make sports sound mighty ugly, Duckling.
“Sports my wrinkly wet wang. It’s big business, twinky. It ain’t supposed to be pretty. You think anybody like me gives a bloody fart about football? Or sports? It’s makin’ money, is all, same as the stock market, same as the race course, same as the blackjack table. Those athletes work for me, get it? They make me money. At least they’re supposed to. The End.”
I buy him a beer and move off. Poor guy. Very grinchlike of those meanies at FSU to ruin this nice fellow’s Christmas, don’t you think?