FOX fails and I am happy

by Travis Normand

I don’t think I have written about my disdain for FOX’s college football coverage on this blog, but I used to write about it a lot on my old one.  Just like FOX’s college football coverage, my old blog was horrible but I also didn’t take it seriously.

I remember writing about how happy I was to hear that the BCS broadcasts would be moved from FOX to ABC/ESPN (in 2008?).  I also remember writing about how much I loved watching the Cotton Bowl each year, but hated the fact that I had to listen to FOX’s NFL commentators call the game.

Anyway, it comes as no surprise to me to hear that FOX’s college football morning show, FOX College Saturday, has been canceled before its second season has even begun.

I am not a TV executive, but maybe I should be.  After all, when FOX announced the show a year ago, all I could think was, “great, another awful idea in terms of college football programming by FOX.

It is final confirmation of what could be described as nothing but a disastrous tenure for Fox College Saturday, a program that couldn’t even make it to a second year.

- From AwfulAnnouncing.com

 

 

College Football Playoff Unveils National Championship Trophy

College Football Playoff Trophy

by Travis Normand

Yes, I am analyzing the new national championship trophy.  However, if you have been reading my site and if you know me at all, you know that I have a particular fascination with all things college football trophy related.

  • See the press release Here
  • See the College Football Playoff Trophy info sheet Here
  • See the College Football Playoff’s website Here

So the College Football Playoff unveiled its national championship trophy on July 14, 2014. While I like the new trophy (and I think it will continue to grow on me), it is no where near the trophy that was given out during the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) era (see the AFCA National Championship Trophy).  There is something so simplistic and fantastic about the crystal football that was awarded to the BCS champion, which was not captured in this new trophy.

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Wisconsin Badger Fan: “Kilted” Ken Werner

*Originally published on January 10, 2013. 
*Updated on July 23, 2014 via an email from Mr. Ken Werner.  In that email, Mr. Werner informed me that:

  1. His name is spelled “Werner” (not Warner).  
  2. He has, in fact, attended (to this date) 427 games (not 40).  In other words, the 40 that appears in the article is a typo.  

I really appreciate the email from Mr. Werner.

***

by Travis Normand

Kilted Ken Warner - 29K

Ken Werner

There is a short article and photo in this week’s ESPN The Magazine (January 7, 2013) about Ken Werner.  Unfortunately, what you see in the magazine is only a teaser for what is apparently posted online at ESPN.com.  This normally wouldn’t be a problem, however, in order to read this particular story one must have a subscription to ESPN’s premium content.  I use to have a subscription to this service but I finally got rid of it.  It simply wasn’t worth the money.

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Some of the best . . .

by Travis Normand

If you are anything like me, you enjoy reading great college football articles — especially during the off-season.  Here is a list of articles which I thought were fantastic.  I hope you enjoy(ed) them as much as I did.

Note:  I will update this list as I find more articles that I think should be included.  

  1. Growing Up Penn State, The End of Everything at State College; by Michael Weinreb, November 16, 2011, Grantland.com.
  2. It’s Personal, Why we love the silly, irrational, ridiculous, beautiful world of college football; by Bill Connelly, August 27, 2013, SBNation.com.

I am also creating this second list of articles that are not quite as “great” as the ones listed above; however, they are definitely interesting and worth reading.  I should call this second list the “highly recommended” list.

  1. Meet the Bag Man, How to buy college football players, in the words of a man who delivers the money; by Steven Godfrey, April 10, 2014, SBNation.com.
  2. Manti Te’o’s Dead Girlfriend, The Most Heartbreaking And Inspirational Story Of The College Football Season, Is A Hoax; by Timothy Burke and Jack Dickey, January 16, 2013, DeadSpin.com.

More to come . . . 

SWC: 100 years old

by Travis Normand

The following article appeared on DallasNews.com on 10 May 2014.  It is a great article by Barry Horn, detailing many historical aspects of the SWC.  For this reason I am reposting the entire article here on this site, however, please do visit DallasNews.com to see the original article.

Odd as it may seem, reform was in SWC’s DNA at its birth 100 years ago

Barry Horn
Staff Writer
bhorn@dallasnews.com
Published: 10 May 2014 08:31 PM
Updated: 10 May 2014 08:31 PM

A familiar story for a May day in ’14?

College athletics running amok!

Shaky academic standards!

Academically unqualified players on the field commonly known as “ringers,” or “tramp athletes” representing schools!

Minimal safety standards!

Only the year was 1914.

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Notre Dame Protects Stadium Atmosphere

Notre Dame - 16Kby Travis Normand

By now you have probably heard that Notre Dame has a new shoe and apparel contract with Under Armour.  While the contract is apparently the most valuable in college sports history, I am impressed with Notre Dame’s ability to maintain its identity.  I am aware that the negotiating position of each school is different in terms of how much leverage they have, and Notre Dame has more leverage than most.  However, with so many schools selling their traditions and histories in order to “better” their competitive standing, it is refreshing to see a school so committed to maintaining a non-commercialized atmosphere.

See the following quote from the article about Notre Dame’s new Under Armour Contract:

One point in the talks that was not negotiable was Under Armour getting any signage in Notre Dame Stadium.

“It’s just one of those things that is just so central to our identity,” Swarbrick said. “We want to be Augusta-like in that way, and that’s why after we discussed it one time it was never brought up in conversation again.

“Instead, I agreed to let them put their logo on the athletic director.”

**Update: February 7, 2014

I also stumbled upon the following quote from an article in the Chicago Tribune.

The stadium renovation will include larger scoreboards but no final decisions have been made about how video will be used — a divisive issue between younger and older football fans. University officials assured loyalists that there will be no commercial signs or advertising. The current seating bowl also will not change.

**Update: February 19, 2014

In contrast to Notre Dame’s approach towards preserving tradition, Texas A&M is also “upgrading” its own stadium — Kyle Field.  However, A&M is taking a decidedly different approach to the use of video boards.  On Tuesday, February 18, Texas A&M held a press conference in order to give updates on the Kyle Field renovation project, and the following is what was reported by the Dallas Morning News [emphasis added].

On Tuesday in at a press conference held by A&M to give updates to the redevelopment of Kyle Field, Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp announced that the new video board that will be atop the new south endzone will be the largest in collegiate athletics.

“The new scoreboard in the south endzone is projected to be the largest in collegiate athletics, almost twice the size of the scoreboard from last year,” Sharp said. “You can see it in the rendering that it will be another intimidating factor in the redeveloped Kyle Field.”