TCFA (The College Football Antheneum)

Posted Jan. 8, 2015

Columns

Sep 12, 2011

THE HANGOVER

HOW I AM FEELING: Fortunate that my name is not "Brian Kelly." Also: Harried, frazzled, and generally overwhelmed. Work is cascading down like the waters of a mighty Alaskan river, and Your Editor is the proverbial salmon, swimming upstream, making stilted progress, wondering what lies at the end of the line. In other news, Penn State was entirely outclassed by Alabama up in Happy Valley, proving once again that This Once Great Program has fallen completely off the pace with college football's big boys. But again, hey, at least my name is not "Brian Kelly."

More: I am an Aging Salmon, Swimming Upstream; Also, the Big Ten is Awful

Sep 8, 2011

There was a time, not so long ago, when Alabama football was not Alabama football.

The year was 2006, and the college football world was lorded over by Pete Carroll in the West, by Urban Meyer in the South, by Mack Brown in Texas, and by Jim Tressel up North.

Nick Saban was working wonders in Athens. The ever-eccentric Les Miles was just beginning to make noise in Baton Rouge. Charlie Weis, he of the large ego and larger waistline, was still viewed as a strategic savior up in South Bend. And some guy named Chris Petersen was going about the business of building a program that would fundamentally alter the national college football debate.

In all corners of This Great Land, there was a whole lot of exciting stuff happening.

But not in Tuscaloosa.

More: A Dynasty In Full Bloom, A Dynasty In Decline

Sep 6, 2011

THE HANGOVER

HOW I AM FEELING: Generally whiplashed. One of the many beauties of college football is its immediacy; it simply arrives. One day we have no college football; the next, we do. Which means we are ultimately and immediately thrown directly into all of the things that make this sport The Single Greatest Thing About America. The first weekend comes and goes, and then we are left to recalibrate—recalibrate, that is, to being in the moment of the best four months of the year. To be honest, I almost cannot believe the season is actually here; yet it is. Which means I must now get serious about enjoying it, and must also get serious about spending countless hours writing about it (but hey, I ain’t complaining*).  Oh, also, Penn State won a ridiculous and meaningless game over a completely overmatched opponent. Good job, Nits. Bring on ‘Bama.

More: Thoughts From The Valley: Immediacy and Whiplash

Sep 1, 2011

In truth, we should not care as much as we do. About college football, I mean.

Yet, we do.

I do. You do. Millions of other people do, too. We care deeply. Sometimes we care too deeply.

And the question, of course, is obvious. Why?

Why do we care?

Why do we clear our calendars for those 13 precious Saturdays each Autumn? Why do we stress ourselves out, worrying whether The Inevitable Complications Of Life will stand in the way of seeing The Big Game? Why do we pick our cable carriers based solely on whether said carriers offer, oh, I don’t know, the Big Ten Network (thanks, Verizon FIOS)?

More: Why We Care

Aug 25, 2011

As best as I can remember, the year was 1986.

I had just returned from playing a game of neighborhood football, was soaked from head to toe in brown/black November Cleveland mud, and had been quite literally sent to the showers (well, shower, as we only had one in the house) by my mother, who, understandably, was not exactly thrilled to see my brother and I arrive home in such uncleanly condition. All the mud that had soaked into our clothes, that dripped from our hair, that clung to our shoes—none of it, we were told, was to find its way into the house.

So we stripped down nearly to our bones out in the garage, left our sopping wet clothes in a mud-soaked heap and raced upstairs in hopes of being the first to get in the shower.

My brother, though slow of foot and bound for a high school career as a (backup) defensive end and placekicker, managed to win the race. Which left me to stand there, shivering and mud-covered, in front of my parents’ black-and-white RCA television, waiting for him to finish up.

More: Fate Intervenes. Via Lawyer Tillman.

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