Tag Archive | "Football"

“Let me introduce you to … Super Bowl halftime shows”

There are three big factors that play into the Super Bowl.

First, and most obviously, is football. It’s the big leagues, the biggest game of the year and the championship.

Second is the commercials. If you are not a fan of watching football, then the commercials draw you into the Super Bowl.

The third factor is the halftime show. If you don’t like football and you aren’t waiting with bated breath for the commercials, there’s a solid chance you are waiting for the halftime show.

If you hate all of those things and still watch the Super Bowl, I question your sanity.

I, for one, enjoy all three. I love football, I like to see what companies have spent millions of dollars on, and I like to be entertained.

I think sometimes we overlook the fact that there are actually two games taking place. The football game (which I’m quite sure you already knew, but I felt the need to say again anyway) and the halftime show.

The halftime show is the game I think most people forget about.

Sure, it’s a performance and entertainment, but it is also a carefully calculated game.

Think about it.

The people who plan the halftime show have to pick a performer(s) who will not get booed off the stage and will perform at the highest level on the most-watched sporting event in the United States.

Of course, not every human being is going to be happy with the performance. I liked the 2001 Super Bowl halftime show that featured *NSYNC, Britney Spears and Aerosmith, with small appearances made by Nelly and Mary J. Blige. You could have hated it. (Upon rewatching it on YouTube, I laugh a lot more now than I did 12 years ago).

Maybe “game” isn’t the right word. Maybe “risk” is.

The halftime show is a huge risk. People could turn it off, write horrible judgmental columns about it, or rave on social media about it. No matter how you look at it, it’s a risk.

Let’s take this year’s performer, Beyoncé. She actually sang, well, mostly sang. There were the occasions her background vocalists took over. But that’s another story.

And Destiny’s Child! Am I the only one who did not see that coming? I was waiting for Jay-Z to appear, but Destiny’s Child was a nice surprise. Side note: Why wasn’t “Survivor” performed?

I would go out on a limb and say the sponsor was happy with the show. But you never know what’s going to happen onstage. It’s a complete gamble.

Will a Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction occur?

Will a stray middle finger flip off the camera during a live feed?

Is the performer just going to sound awful live?

That is, in my personal opinion, why Lady GaGa has not been asked to perform yet. It’s too risky with too little reward. Too many people either love her or downright hate her.

It’s a risk. It’s all a game.

The winner takes (more) fame and fans. Loser takes embarrassing YouTube videos and a lifetime of mockery.

Told you the football part of the Super Bowl wasn’t the only game being played.

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The Wildcard: The one with the football team (part II)

Like any living, breathing human being, I don’t like to admit when I’m wrong. As little as I try to let this phenomenon happen, sometimes things just slip through the cracks. Today is a day where I correct, or maybe more accurately clarify, one of those mistakes.

A few months ago, I wrote a piece about the prospects of Indiana Wesleyan University getting a football team. How it didn’t happen last year, how it probably won’t happen for a while but how we can all look forward to the Wildcat logo on a gridiron … someday.

But I failed to consider the cost.

I don’t take back anything I said. Should IWU ever field a football team, I will be first in line for tickets. I’ll be at every game. I’ll cheer until I can’t anymore. But until that happens, I will not be cheering for this school to pick up the pigskin.

It’s not because I hate football, it’s actually my favorite sport. It’s because I love IWU without football and getting a team would change some fundamental things about this university.

Education and athletics have always had an interesting relationship. Ever since you were in high school and the drama club wondered why it was stuck with second-rate props while the basketball team got all the funding it needed. That precarious relationship continues through the college ranks. Starting a football team at a small school like IWU adds more than just something new to do on Saturdays.

One of the more noticeable aspects football adds is sheer numbers. Taylor University is a comparable college that already has a team. The Trojans’ website lists more than 70 active players on the football roster.

At IWU, with an on-campus undergraduate population of around 3,000, it’s easy to wonder where those 70 athletes would come from. The answer is most likely an increase in overall enrollment, another step away from the personal, small-college experience that runs a cool $30,000 a year.

With those additional students would inevitably come a different type of IWU student. This is not always the case, but football would bring student-athletes who come solely for football and are uninterested in contributing to the other aspects that make this school what it is. This goes for any school and any activity, but in my opinion, football at Christian universities tends to be the greatest offender.

Then we have the issue of money. At a university making many cuts to prevent further financial difficulties, is the high cost of a football team and all the accoutrements that go with it really what IWU should focus on at this point?

Two weeks ago, we learned IWU is fielding a Wildcat club football team. This is intended to be a step in the direction of an intercollegiate squad, but on a level that is much less of a financial risk. The players on the Wildcat roster will probably come from current IWU students and not be used as a recruiting tool for high school athletes.

I’m not looking to cause a stir. If nothing else, I hope my words promote contentment for the situation the Wildcats are in right now. A situation that is on purpose, because as IWU’s much-beleaguered administration has rightfully determined, this is not a good time for intercollegiate football.

Maybe the right time is coming. When or if that day comes, you can find me at the 50-yard line. I’ll be painted from head to toe in red, screaming my head off like a moron. But until then, I’m more than happy to cheer for the teams we do have.

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Let’s play! Club football coming to IWU


Students eagerly sign up to play club football for future head coach Chet Foraker.

On Friday, Mar. 23, Chet Foraker stood at a table in the Indiana Wesleyan University Barnes Student Center Mallway with a message that many students have been waiting a long time to hear.

Football is coming to IWU.

Foraker is the coach of the new team, and was promoting the school’s first club football team, which he said has been in the making since he was a part of the football feasibility study in 2010.

“At that point it was the right thing for the university to delay football,” Foraker said. “It is now the right thing to start football, so therefore we’re starting it this fall.”

The team will play 11-man tackle football competitively against other squads from around the Midwest, including junior varsity teams from intercollegiate programs. The Wildcats’ inaugural season in 2012 will feature 4-6 games, according to Foraker.

Coach Foraker said he is excited to be a part of the first football team at IWU, and hopes this is only the start of something even greater.

“We are hoping that this will move into an intercollegiate program,” Foraker said. “But right now it’s a club program, and we’ll see about the timing of that sometime later on.”

Michael Moffitt, IWU’s VP for student development, echoed the same idea of the club team being a test. As a former professional player for the NFL’s Green Bay Packers, Moffitt knows a thing or two about football.

“It’s something that you can build on. It’s something that I think the students are obviously excited about,” Moffitt said. “I think we’ll see what the interest level is and then go from there.”

One of those excited students is Jordan Nelson (so), who has already signed up to play for the new Wildcats. Nelson played linebacker and wide receiver in high school, and said he is excited about having a team at IWU, but knows putting together a football team from scratch won’t be easy by any means.

“It’s really tough to start up a team when you haven’t had a team and when none of the people here are really geared toward football,” Nelson said. “Most of the people who are athletic here are on the team already or are already playing something.”

No matter how the first few games go, however, Nelson said it will just be good to play the game again, and give Wildcat sports fans something to cheer about.

“It’s definitely a step in the right direction, because they’re doing this, guys are going to get excited,” Nelson said. “And I think it’s something the whole university can get excited about, even if it is just a club team.”

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The flawed system of the BCS

This year’s BCS National Championship game will be played between Boise State and Texas Christian in Glendale, Ariz. The game will be played on Jan. 10 at 8:30 p.m. in front of a national television audience. It will feature the top two teams from the Mountain West conference, both supporting undefeated records. OK, you can wake up from your nightmare now.

The reality is that those words could possibly be uttered before this season of major college football is over. The third week of the Bowl Championship Series rankings came out Sunday night and boasted Oregon and Auburn in the top two spots, while TCU and Boise State were ranked third and fourth respectively.

Now the season is slightly halfway over, and there’s a lot of football still to be played, but this scene is playing out worst than a botched “Everybody Loves Raymond” episode. The laughable underdog is always the favorite, but if he is going to outwit and outplay everyone else, then we don’t want any part of him.

The point is that everyone has been siding with non-BCS affiliated schools such as Boise State, Texas Christian and Utah, but when it comes down to it, people really don’t want them in the top two spots. Or do they?

That’s the hot question buzzing around the college football world. Does Boise State and its crazy blue-eyed fans along with the spirited Horned Frogs from TCU deserve a shot at the national championship?

Sure they aren’t playing teams anywhere near the top 10 or top 40 for that matter, but they are winning their games, and that’s all you can do. You can only play and beat those that are on your schedule and I salute that, but if these two teams wind up in the national championship, Oregon, Auburn and Alabama won’t be the only losers.

The revenue generated from the BCS top game is enormous in the overall landscape of college football. And I have a feeling if these two squads or some team similar reach this game, then the viewing numbers will be comparable to that of a “Star Trek” rerun.

Major college football is an ever-evolving industry. Top athletic programs such as Ohio State and Texas generate over $100 million annually, with football making up at least 65 percent of the income.

With the massive fan bases from Notre Dame, Ohio State, Texas, etc., comes the demand for big-time bowl games. Fans want to see their team play against one of the best teams in the country on the biggest stage.

So you wonder if the BCS commissioners are pulling strings to make everybody happy (including them at the sight of their paychecks).

But wait, that’s why this computer system was put into place so none of this could happen. Admirable, really. But as fans have seen throughout the years, the outcome has not always been squeaky-clean. On the other hand, there hasn’t been a complete train wreck of a major bowl either in the past few years, at least not at the outset.

When you look at this though, you wonder, why not have a playoff? Pretty novel idea, myself and many others would presume. Isn’t that how nearly every other champion in sports is crowned?

With the present system, every regular-season game is essentially a playoff. Either you win all of your games, or there is a significant possibility that you will not end up in the title game.

I am all for prioritizing the 12 regular season games, but how many times have we seen a great team get snubbed the chance to play for a title because they lost one measly game against a solid opponent? The last two weeks the No. 1 ranked team was knocked off. So should they write themselves off for what they have been working for their whole careers?

They can only play who is on their schedule, like everyone else, while the opinionated media and coaches determine their fate. Just doesn’t seem quite right to me. When I play a sport, I want to win fair and square, against the best, not by some formality or number in a computer.

So why not take the top 10 or 12 teams in the country and have them battle it out on the field? They could work out a system to incorporate the tradition-laden bowl games, into the tournament format, and for those who would not reach the “big dance.” That way, just like March Madness, the best teams in the country could compete for the biggest prize, regardless of a loss or two on their record. The BCS system has served as a punching bag in the past years.

Everyone wants to take their shot at the validity of the process, including me. But when are one of these punches going to land and make a lasting impact?

College football is one of the greatest fall traditions of our time. Fans, players, coaches and alumni unite around the country to compete for ultimate glory. So how did something so simple and uniform become so complicated? Let the boys play it out on the field, not on a computer. It would be better for everyone, including those blue and purple underdogs.

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