Archive for November, 2013|Monthly archive page

College Football’s Fake Playoff

In Football Stuff on November 20, 2013 at 7:37 pm

College Football Playoff

There is a lot of promise being sold for the 2014 college football season. The BCS will no longer determine our national champion and we will actually have a playoff. Before you start dancing too hard, understand that it’s not the real deal. This four team set-up is only a teaser that the networks and NCAA will attempt to pacify fans with. For those of you who like the spectacle don’t worry all the same old arguing will still be there next year.

A lot of people think that the committee that will select the teams will be problematic. I don’t think that they will be the issue. The source of concern is how this tournament is structured. The NCAA and conference commissioners were not brave enough to set up a real playoff. The four team model is just a fancy way of doing a plus one. I guess change is hard and we have to take baby steps.

There is a simple answer to the playoff problem. All we need is an 8 team playoff that features the conference champions of the five major conferences and 3 at large teams. That way if the SEC has 2 powerhouse teams they both will have a shot. Will there be debates about teams who don’t get in? Yes of course it will but even if we have 64 teams there will be people whining and complaining.

The setup would roll like this; first round will be at the home fields of the higher seed teams. It would nice to see how a Texas team would fare at Ohio State in early December. The semifinals could be at rotating BCS sites with the final being played at another rotating BCS site. Until we get something like this, we are just pretending we have a playoff.

Written By
Keith B. Holt
Follow on Twitter @Kholtjr

Against The Tide

In Sports Docs on November 18, 2013 at 2:01 am

Against the Tide

“Against The Tide” is a documentary produced by Showtime Sports that highlights one of the most influential games in college football history. The game in 1970 featured the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Trojans of USC, played in Tuscaloosa, AL. The Alabama team was coached by the legend Bear Bryant his team was not integrated yet. They were all white playing against a fully integrated team from California that was coached by another legend John McKay. We get insight to what led up to that special matchup of two very different giants of college football.

The film takes a look at the culture in the south coming out of the 1960s and the racial tension that existed in the state of Alabama. The first year after a decade that was full of racial violence and outspoken political figures who wanted keep segregation alive. University of Alabama had admitted black students by 1970 but in very small numbers. The winning football had remained all white. This was not uncommon in the south as mostly all SEC teams were not integrated.

The movie highlights a game where Alabama got crushed by USC of a score of 42-21. By all accounts in the film USC could have won by more if McKay would have not called the dogs off. The movie also addresses the speculation that Bear Bryant scheduled the game with his friend because he knew that the Tide would lose. The film does not confirm the claim and most of former players dispute that theory. The movie does confirm that Bryant wanted to integrate his football team before the school administration was ready that to happen.

The team that visited Tuscaloosa was a stark contrast to the Crimson Tide. The USC team was coached by McKay who had been bringing black player to the school throughout the 1960s. Black players had been playing at the school since the 1920s. The 1970 team actually featured a black quarterback in James Jones. This was not popular even at integrated schools back in 1970.

The movie is clear that the game is not solely responsible for football in the south integrating. What it does assert that it did open a lot of eyes to the fact that times were going to have to change of the SEC schools wanted to compete with other teams from around the country. You also get a glimpse of some of the complicated relationships that took place in that time period.
Written By
Keith B. Holt
Follow on Twitter @Kholtjr

The Braves Are Moving

In All Kinds of Sports, Atlanta Area Stuff on November 11, 2013 at 3:48 pm

Braves team

The breaking news in Atlanta sports today is all about the Braves. The Marietta Daily Journal rocked the metro area with the announcement of the city’s baseball franchise leaving the city limits. The teams lease runs out in 2016 at Turner Field and for the 2017 season they will move to Cobb County. Now some fans will have an issue with the club moving but from a business end this makes sense for the organization.

The new build will seat 41,000 fans and will be a multi-use facility. The team will not be seated at the I-75 / I-285 corridor. This will allow perfect access for fans that are from the Tennessee area and Alabama. The majority of the Braves fans who purchase tickets are not from the city of Atlanta. Not to mention there is a major traffic issue when fans are trying to reach the games at the current location. There will be a much easier commute to the facility. Now some people will say that there is not a public transportation option. Well guess what there is not a train headed to Turner Field either. Cobb County will have bus access just like Turner Field currently has.

Braves Season Ticket Holder Map

Braves Season Ticket holders

On the Braves official website they released the following statement…
Turner Field is a facility that was built for three weeks of use for the Olympics, but has now served us well for nearly 20 years. The issue isn’t the Turner Field we play in today, but instead whether or not the venue can remain viable for another 20 to 30 years.

Turner Field has served the Braves well since 1997, but it is in need of major infrastructure work, which will cost around $150 million. These upgrades are functional ones, such as replacing worn-out seats or upgrading the stadium’s lighting, and they would do little to significantly enhance the fan experience. If the Braves were to pay for additional projects focused on improving the fan experience, the additional costs could exceed $200 million.

Those upgrades still wouldn’t address the logistical challenges outside the stadium – lack of consistent mass transit options, inadequate number of parking spaces and limited access to major highways.

The team is also looking at the before and after game fan experience that the area can provide. In the Cumberland area there are already two very good shopping facilities and a few restaurants that customers can frequent. Of course more things will be built around the facility. Currently the Turner Field surrounding area is not the friendliest place to be. There is nowhere to really go to do anything and no one in the city has tried to build up the area.
Written By
Keith B. Holt
Follow on Twitter @Kholtjr