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Off Tackle Empire Presents: Festivus!

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It’s Sunday, December 23rd, and according to the Google search results for “what day is Festivus,” Festivus is today! If you, like me, only vaguely know what Festivus is (or don’t have any idea at all), the internet has provided this primer:

The tradition of Festivus begins with the Airing of Grievances. We’ve got a lot of problems with College Football, and now, you’re gonna hear about it!

The Airing of Grievances

As the “writer” of this “article,” I’ll start off with a couple simple grievances, which I’ve expressed before: The college football replay system is really dumb and gives preference to a wrong call made on the field during gameplay over anything else. Also, college football overtime rules are garbage. Overtime football is an entirely different game designed to punish good defensive teams. Also it inflates stats and nobody ever qualifies, say, Jonathan Taylor’s 2018 performance against Purdue by saying “yeah, but a ton of those stats came on a short field in overtime.”

Finally, two other grievances. Notre Dame should be in a got dam conference or it should GTFO of FBS, and college pep bands should be limited to playing any single song three times during a single game. For those of us who are fans of teams that score more than three TDs per game...too bad. You’re only getting On Wisconsin or Boomer Sooner or whatever OSU’s fight song is three times.

Let’s check on some of our other aggrieved attendees:

Thumpasaurus has a few complaints

  • college football is going full NASCAR by chasing the casual viewer at the expense of the diehards
  • Also fuck off with these Friday night fucking games
  • Then there’s also the matter of why we classify the AAC, MWC and others as FBS when they’re not fully FBS (ed. note: Please elaborate!)
  • The stratification of recruiting over the last 15 years has created a bizarre market for 5 star quarterback transfers (10 of the last 19 consensus five star QBs transferred from the school that signed them)
  • Replay review has trained refs to call the game to preserve replay reviewability instead of getting the call right the first time. A 3.5 hour game with 96% of the calls correct beats a 6 hour rose bowl with 99% of the calls correct
  • Conference championship games suck
  • Pace of play is just fine during an actual drive where there’s no replay reviews. But over the course of a game ugh

Boilerman31 concisely conveys his grievance without forcing us to relitigate the issue

The fumbling through the endzone rule

jimmybuckeye is right

“National” champions that are not the best in their region is dumb, and will always be dumb. Win your conference or gtfo.

DJ, for some reason, comes equipped with solutions, in a very “Chris Traeger ruining Ann’s pregnancy complaining session by trying to ‘fix things’” way

Football needs to adapt a timeout system like basketball. There are mandated TV timeouts (less due to scoring leading to a TV break) and then regular timeouts and that is it. College athletics is scrambling to find a way to keep butts in seats but makes watching a game in person almost unwatchable because of all the MFing TV timeout breaks there are

Case in point was the MD-Illinois game this year that saw six TV timeouts in the first five minutes of the fourth quarter

This likely piggy backs onto the replay calling increasing gametime. Gametimes have gotten too long

Andrew K is so mad about football, he’s talking about baseball

Pace of play is definitely my biggest beef, but you just watch, they’ll do the same thing leagues like MLB do and try to find ways to squeeze the players on the field while maintaining or increasing advertising breaks

Sooner or later, we are going to see, like, a 20 second play clock

MNWildcat talks a big game, but then doesn’t come through

i got a LOTTA problems with you beezer, and now you’re gonna hear about em

WhiteSpeedReceiver what’s what

Stop playing the B1G Championship game in a domed stadium.

Zuzu has definitely got some problems.

1-11. ONE AND ELEVEN. Chris Ash. Also, Friday night games and the general stratification of College Football. The fun is being sucked out.

And, of course, unbalanced division grievances abound

Thumpasaurus, again: Hurr sure the divisions are unbalanced

What we should do is have it so that Ohio state, Penn State and Michigan are in three different divisions, and their games against each other are treated like noncon games. Then the big ten title should be decided by a four team playoff involving the division winners and a wild card in case one of those three fails to win the division. If they do win the division, it becomes a first round bye for the highest ranked division winner

Basically @Boilerman31 the idea is to rebalance the divisions so that Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan get a shot every year regardless of their records against each other

Bring balance to the divisions

MNWildcat: Basically two divisions: (1) The Best (OSU, PSU, Michigan just play each other 4 times), (2) The Worst (the rest of us puds just sit there and jack it)

WSR: How do we bring balance to the division? Weighing all the players on the teams and then dividing teams up? Count the number of letters in team names and break them up that way??

MNWildcat: Alphabetically by height, I say.

Zuzu: Don't know what can be done and don't care what does, but I am begging for ANYTHING to change.

BigRedTwice nails it

TV commentators. Everything about them. From their unrelenting maleness to their tendency to beat their favorite narratives to bloody pulps of dead horses; from their weird reliance on the word “penetration” to their inability to shut the hell up for even a tenth of a second; from their apparent belief that reading the Tweets of players/coaches/randos is some kind of cutting-edge and fascinating reporting to their weird crushes on certain players and coaches. Everything about them is absolutely awful. Bah humbug!

Finally, GoForThree takes time off of being a lazy student on holiday break

  • I’m just tired of Saban. And it’s not that I hate the guy. Hell, OSU punked him with a third stringer. I’m just saying I’m tired of him. I’m tired of the whole milieu. The endless ESPN attempts to find some new and interesting angle on “Saban is a sadomasochistic machine who works wonders and doesn’t lose much.” It’s worn out. The game is worn out with him.
  • Second bitching: The game is teetering on the brink of a secular decline. More and more players are sitting out bowl games, CTE and targeting are rapidly changing the game, and the rise of transfers is turning CFB into a poor man’s NFL. The CFP is an unmitigated joke driven by ratings and SEC love. I’m over it. Next year, ESPN is launching a massive College Football 150 retrospective. At this rate I highly doubt there will be a College Football 175.

Feats of Strength

I still don’t quite get what the purpose of the Feats of Strength is, but that’s not going to stop us from performing our own Feats, as only they can be performed on the internet. That’s right, for OTE’s feats of strength, our “writers” are bragging about something they’ve done or accomplished in life that is at least athletics- or sports- or coordination-adjacent that, at the time, looked and felt really, really cool or impressive, but upon retelling is definitely a “you had to be there” type of a brag story.

I’ll start.

One time I was eating outside at Chipotle in Asheville, North Carolina, and I was done eating so I balled up the burrito paper and foil, leaned back in my chair, and threw it into one of those half-covered garbage cans about 50 feet away, first try. Then I took my friend’s paper, balled it up, and threw it. Again, nothing but net. Back to back awesome garbage tosses, which is basically like Steph Curry.

Also, when I say “half-covered,” I mean this. Don’t act like you’re not impressed:

As you might expect, the other contributors did things that are, what’s the word...impressive:

GoForThree starts strong by doing something I probably couldn’t do whilst sober

I once endured a forced 3 AM beach run while so drunk I couldn’t keep straight line. Two helpful peers positioned themselves on either side of me and I pinballed between them for 4 miles, stopping only briefly to vomit up everything I’d eaten that week and, possibly, my gall bladder.

Boilerman31, meanwhile is an internationally-recognized “sports” star

While traveling to work in Germany, my colleagues took me to a metal bar in East Berlin. After a few rounds of shooting pool and drinking Budweiser (the American kind, purchased by my German colleagues, don’t judge), the dart board came available. Fortunately, I seem to throw straighter after a few rounds. I dominated three rounds of 501. At that point, my colleagues declared me the Darts Champion of East Berlin. I decided to go out on top.

AndrewK shows no mercy

Y’all are out here reliving glories of the distant past when I recorded 8 blocks in my volleyball league barely 24 hours ago against our then-unbeaten opponents. Don’t worry, we’re all still on board with Netsbraska.

MNWildcat, wins the Feats of Strength, hands down

At the Maryland-Northwestern football game in 2017, I ate an entire Chessie.

(For context...)

DJ: It’s most impressive @mnw. Usually split it with another to soak up all the booze from the tailgate

Stewmonkey ran back in the day, and we are all so (un)lucky to have missed it

I ran cross country and track in college. Our meets were generally on Saturdays and on early Sunday mornings (7 am) we had our long run of the week, usually about 10-12 miles. This meant that several of us were usually still drunk from the prior night at the start of the run. One time, enough of us were so obviously still drunk or hungover our coach gave us a time trial. We had to do a ten mile run on gravel roads in under 70 minutes. I came in at about 65 minutes, and I’m fairly sure I blacked out for at least a couple miles.

We also did a yearly naked mile at the end of the season, so around mid November. This was also usually done quite inebriated, my best time in this particular event was about 5:30.

Also did a beer mile, where every 400 yards you stop and chug a beer. I think I did that in about 7:30.

And I participated, without injury, in the yearly naked soccer games during senior week.

MNWildcat: Luther is weird.

AndrewK, getting the point of Feats of Strength by this point, weighs back in

There was the time I drank 3 vintage-formula FourLokos inside of 2 hours and lived, but I don’t know that I want that to be public knowledge. I bow to a liver far greater than my own in GF3’s tale, and to the prodigious capacity of Dear Leader

Zuzu has a major point here. This is quite the feat of strength.

I am a Rutgers fan.

BigRedTwice closes things out...or does she?

I did a half marathon once! This is notable, as I am the least athletic person to ever grace the earth--I have like a two inch vertical, for example. I hesitate to say that I “ran,” it, because it was kind of a “purposeful shuffle,” but I did the whole damn thing, didn’t die, and only really hated the last 3.5 miles.

I also completed a women’s rock climbing course in grad school, which was pretty awesome, and also terrifying because I do not love heights. We rappelled down the side of the football stadium, which sounds more impressive when you are picturing a Big Ten football stadium rather than the actuality, which was much more modest, but it still felt pretty cool.

Other than that, I wear heels most days and walk all over the place without falling over, and I still think this is just more proof that women are a superior species. (winking emoji)

That’s right, Festivus is NOT over until LincolnParkWildcat pins me, so let’s keep this going!

Commentariat, what do you hate about College Football? No, not “fuck Michigan” or “fuck Notre Dame,” but what’s actually wrong about it (also, “fans of my rival sux” isn’t fun. Be creative!) You’ve got grievances, and now we’re going to hear about them!

Also, please add your own Feats of Strength, but remember the most important rule: it can’t be too actually impressive!