Monday, September 25, 2006

Free...As A Bird...

What's Playing in my Head: "Everything Sucks", by Reel Big Fish

Quote of the Day:
“If you've never seen an elephant ski, then you've never been on acid.” - Eddie Izzard

Random thought: Does finishing my last day at Formerly-Known-As- Current-Workplace and waiting to start at Future Workplace mean that I'm in between jobs?


This is sort of a weird position for me to be in, because I haven't been without a job for a single day in almost two years, and for more than a week in over three years. I start at Soon-To-Be-Current-Workplace later this week, so I'm kicking my feet up for the first time in years. Sitting around without the faintest glimmer of something that I have to do is very bizarre.

I'm in a generally good mood right now, because the Skins somehow found a miraculous way to win over the lowly Texans yesterday, 31-15. Some people, like my dad, would find this entirely unremarkable, given that Houston was 2-14 last year. However, I know better. As long as I've been alive, my team has never failed to disappoint, even (especially) against pathetic teams like the Texans. (Of all people, my dad should know better, since he watched the miserable Deadskins of the 1960s contastantly disappoint when he was a kid)

What do you do if you're a Texans fan? I mean, really, I feel sorry for Houston, because you suffer through the ownership of an asshole owner, watch him blow off your city by announcing that he's moving the team a full season before he actually does it, then have to wait seven years to get your team back - and then have to suffer through five seasons of pathetic football with no real end in sight. I was horrified (but not shocked) when I saw this page a few minutes ago, listing the records of every NFL team since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970; the Texans have the worst winning percentage of every single team in the NFL. 32 out of 32.

Houston doesn't deserve that. They were always a good AFC town when the Oilers still existed, and they deserve a winner. The Texans franchise in general is solid,, white & blue colors, cool logo, cool name...they just suck. Places like Carolina (22 out of 32), Arizona (29 out of 32) and Jacksonville (10 out of 32?!?) deserve that level of crappiness. Not Houston.

On a semi-related subject, the long football weekend got me to thinking about something that I go back to every fall: what if the NFL had competition?

The fact that the NFL hasn't had any serious competitors since the AFL in 1969 is jarring (no, the XFL doesn't count. As anything. Including a league.) Since football overtook baseball as the real national pastime in this country, the NFL has enjoyed a total dominance of the sport that no other league has been able to in this country in the modern era. Their market power is staggering as a result.

Even so, I think there's an opening for competition if it was done right. The popularity of football and network/cable TV in this country means that there's potential support out there for a new league. NBC and Turner realized this back in the late-90s, in trying to get their proposed league off the ground, but were stopped by the cheaper- and ultimately failed XFL. (How different and infinitely more interesting would the sports landscape have been if the NBC-Turner league existed and the XFL didn't?)

Of course, the potential of a league like this depends on a lot of factors, like working out a big-dollar TV deal that gives a lot of exposure, finding open facilities that can generate revenue without costing a lot in lease rates, and picking markets that have relatively few sports that tend to like football. Some of that is a crap shoot, but smart planning would go a long way in figuring out what's likely to work.

More on this later.


At September 26, 2006 10:38 AM, Anonymous Mediocre Fred said...

I'm with your dad on this one. So we're better than the worst team in the league. Whoopee. Wake me in time for the Jacksonville game, which should offer a more accurate barometer of where our season is heading.

P.S. Anyone want to set an over/under on how many pages of Al Saunders' 700-page playbook Clinton Portis has actually read?


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