I co-founded this community six years ago, and I'm embarrassed to say I don't contribute nearly as much as I used to. This is the opportunity cost of my job, working in-house for a production company in Burbank, combined with the 90-year-old Janes cottage in the shadow of the Rose Bowl we're restoring, plus the novel I've been working on since 2011, coupled with the antiques business my wife and I just started. These things leave little time for extracurricular pursuits as does -- if I'm being truly honest -- the fatigue I feel, having gone to bat for this conference too many times to count, with little to show for it except for a perverse sports jihad; a self-righteousness that comes from having fought the good fight, with little to show for it except for the conviction I feel right now; now that Ohio State has won a record twenty-one games in a row, under the tutelage of one of the best coaches our sport has ever known; now that this team has been relegated to the status of also-ran in the BCS beauty contest; an assured honorable mention in the annals of records books; the answer to some yet-to-be-written Trivial Pursuit question.
Nevermind that Urban Meyer has recruited back-to-back Top 5 classes to Columbus, the fact he's the only coach in the history of the sport to preside over three separate 20 game winning streaks; or the about-face that occurred in the national media this week, as certain 'analysts' were forced to reconcile their not so thinly-veiled dislike for Ohio State athletics with the objectivity they profess to maintain. The truth remains that in five short weeks, when the final BCS standings are released, the Buckeyes are more likely than not to be on the outside looking in, and I'm here to tell you that that's just the reality of a corrupt and indefensible order that all but guarantees controversy; a system that's the sports equivalent of apartheid.
To be sure, that's a bit of an exaggeration; but it doesn't change reality.
The reality that we love a sport that's governed by subjectivity, and owned by for-profit enterprises.
The reality that mainstream sports journalists are little more than majority whips for the status quo (and their employer's investment portfolio).
The truth that the NCAA is a goddamn joke.
Don't get me wrong, I'll be the first to say that Alabama, Oregon and Florida State for that matter have accomplished more this season on the field than the Buckeyes, and for that reason (should they remain undefeated) they deserve to be ahead of us in the mythical National Championship pecking order.
But don't confuse the shortcomings of the system with the ceiling of the contestants. Don't tell me that just because the majority of Big Ten athletic departments pay more attention to media rights deals than they do assistant coaching salaries it's impossible that someone from our beleaguered conference might be worthy of competing at the highest level. And don't tell me that, if given the chance, Urban F. Meyer with a month to prepare and the aforementioned talent couldn't give anyone a run for their money.
Because he could. We could.
And even if we don't get the chance it doesn't change what this team has accomplished. It doesn't change the history that's quietly being made in Columbus.
So sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride. Whether it ends on December 31st, January 1st or January 6th is irrelevant.
I, for one, am wholeheartedly entertained.