J.C. + B.C.S. = B.S.
12:17 AM EDT on May 21, 2009
Remember J.C. Watts?
He was a U.S. representative for our state, the token black guy in the Republican party (before Michael Steele), and back in the day he was the quarterback for the University of Oklahoma. After only two terms past his original term limit promise, J.C. walked away from politics never to look back. Or did he?
Since that time, Watts has been pretty quiet. There was that thing about him trying to create a Fox News Channel for African-Americans, and recently he has made overtures about running for governor in 2010, but for the most part his efforts since his 2003 retirement have been quiet. I think I know why.
One of Watts' first actions was to create a lobbying firm with the objective of "working on issues he championed during his eight years in congress." Recently, it came to light that one of those issues was apparently the Bowl Championship Series.
In a report on Politico.com, we learned that J.C. Watts has earned $620,000 over the past five years (encompassing the entire time he has been out of elected office) lobbying on behalf of the most atrocious sports system in (all probability) the world. I've written about this extensively in the past, but seriously, every other sport seems to understand that champions should be crowned on the field. If the NFL determined who played in the SuperBowl by using computer calculations and the opinions of writers who were influenced by the P.R. departments of the league's teams, no one would take the league seriously. Instead, they allow twelve of the thirty-two teams to battle it out--on the field--to determine which team is best. The NCAA, which has 119 teams, allows two teams to give it a go.
As idiotic as the concept is, it is the perfect issue for a conservative like Watts to champion. The B.C.S. is a powerful, entrenched system that prevents progress. It protects the haves (power conference teams with large athletic budgets) at the expense of the little guy.
Of course, because of how ludicrous the B.C.S. system is, it has few fans outside of its wealthy sponsors. That's why they need lobbyists, because rational people and some politicians (including the President) would like to see the NCAA get a clue. Of course, as the BCS mouth piece, it was strange to read this about Watts in the Politico piece:
Asked if the government should involve itself in the disputes of the college gridiron, Watts avoided a hard "yes" or "no." But he said it "seems strange" that Congress would find time to bother.
It apparently didn't seem strange to him when he agreed to take their case to Congress.
I know it probably seems like I try to beat up on Republicans when I write about politics. Sometimes that's true. In this case, it has nothing to do with party affiliation. If Brad Henry came out in favor of the B.C.S. system, I'd take him to task the same way I am going after Watts. Of course, that would never happen because unlike J.C., the governor does have half a brain.
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