I may be a hypocrite

I have roundly criticized and condemned the Catholic Church for their failure to diligently investigate and prosecute the pedophiles in their ranks. I get angry when I think of the complicit environment the Church created that allowed the pedophiles to carry out their predatory behavior for not just decades, but for centuries. In my view, the Church tacitly supported pedophilic behavior, and it is inexcusable.

So why then do I not feel the same way about the iconic, now former, Penn State football coach Joe Paterno? He did not do enough, and his inaction quite possibly allowed the grotesque sexual abuse to continue under his watch. In fact, it’s fairly apparent that Joe Pa’s failure to act mirrored a moral collapse within the entire Penn State athletic department and school administration. Everyone turned their backs on those young boys and showed a horrific lack of decency in the process.

Last week, I was an enthusiastic admirer of Joe Paterno. He did everything right in college football. He ran a clean program that every other college and university in the NCAA should have modeled themselves after. He loves his players – from all 46 seasons, and they love him. For most of them, he probably is one of the most influential men in their lives. He guided them, shaped them, took them from young men with athletic talent to productive members of society. I am a Tennessee fan, and I had minimal athletic talent that saw me through a few years of high school football. If you were to ask me where I would want to play college football as a young man, I would have said Penn State because that’s where Joe Pa coached.

This week, I am heartbroken, and I feel wrong for it because my heart breaks for Joe Pa. Somehow the tragedy that happened to young boys has turned into a story of a legend falling from grace. This shouldn’t be about Joe Pa, but that’s what it’s become. True, he did not do enough, but sadly, he did more than most. He turned a man he considered a close friend into his superiors for shattering the lives of young boys in the most insidious ways. But we expect our legends to not just do more than most. We expect them to do everything right and perfect. We expect them to live up to an unimpeachable moral standard. Joe Pa fell short of that standard. We discovered this week that the legend is human.

So, I sit here with my hypocrisy feeling conflicted about my own reaction to the Penn State story. Try as I might, I can’t stop feeling bad for Joe Pa, and I will not allow myself to believe that his failure in these events defines his life and career. He is a great man who made a bad choice. He is human.

Buffalo Bulls Win National Championship!

Bulls QB Drew Willey was 24-36 for 342 yards and 3 touchdowns in the win over the Gators

Bull's QB Drew Willy was 24 - 36 for 342 yards and 3 touchdowns in the win over the Gators

In what will go down as the most bizarre play in the history of college football, Buffalo Bulls linebacker, Justin Winters stripped the ball from Gator’s quarterback, Tim Tebow on the Bulls five yard line and ran the ball 95 yards for the winning score, making the University at Buffalo’s Bulls the improbable national champions in college football.  What makes the play so bizarre is that it came about as a result of what may be Tebow’s biggest mistake in his illustrious college career.   With the ball on the five and up by four points, with eight seconds on the game clock and three seconds on the play clock, all the Gator’s quarterback had to do was take a knee and the game was over.  The ball was snapped.  Tebow took the ball from center, motioned as if he was taking a knee and then started walking to the sidelines with the ball raised high in the air with one hand.  Unnoticed by the Gator’s quarterback, the referees did not blow the whistle to signal that play was dead.  Winters broke through the line, stripped the ball from Tebow and ran it in for what was ruled a touchdown on the field.  A stunned crowd waited in silence as the replay booth took 15 minutes to review the play.  The question was whether Tebow actually took a knee.  The officials could find no conclusive evidence to overturn the ruling, giving Winters the touchdown and The Bulls the national championship.  Final score: 37-35

 

 

 

 

Reality note:  This was fun and I thank everyone who participated in the Mythical (Yet More Real Than The BCS) College Football Playoff.  In particular, the University at Buffalo Bulls fans.  You guys love your Bulls.  In total, you cast 6,507 for Turner Gill’s team throughout the playoffs.  In the championship alone, you voted 4,287 times.  Congratulations!  You literally willed your team to victory.  You actually got me interested in the watching the Bulls take on the University of Connecticut today. 

BTW – a total of 9,020 votes were cast throughout the entire playoffs.  Go BULLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!  If you know the address for the University at Buffalo’s athletic department, let me know and I’ll send them an official plaque. 

The National Championship – The Florida Gators vs. The Buffalo Bulls

The Buffalo Bulls continue their miracle season with a win over the Alabama Crimson Tide. The game was a back and forth affair that had Alabama leading late in the fourth quarter. With the game seemingly over, the Bulls mounted a three minute, 80 yard drive that put them ahead with less than 39 seconds on the clock. The Crimson Tide mounted a quick drive of their own and moved into position to kick a game-winning 23 year field goal. Mike Newton, outstanding DB for the Bulls, maneuvered around the left side untouched and blocked the kick, sending a shocked crowd of Alabama fans to the exits with just 3 seconds remaining on the clock. The final score was 30-28. Next up for the Bulls, the National Championship and another SEC powerhouse.

The Florida Gators relied on a heavy pass rush and their secondary to dismantle Colt McCoy’s much heralded passing attack. The Gators gave up a lot of yards between the twenties, but managed to pick McCoy off five times in the red zone. Meanwhile, Tebow had some troubles of his own. The Gator’s version of the wildcat formation faltered for the first time this season. It seems Superman found his kryptonite in the Texas front four. The points on this night belonged to Percy Harvin and his incredible athletic ability. Harvin had 315 total yards and four touchdowns. The final score in this one was 42-31.

So our national championship features a team that was on nobody’s radar at the beginning of the playoffs and another team that many thought had the best chance of winning the national championship.

Florida

Record: 15-1

Points per Game Margin (points for minus points against): +32.31

Most Points Scored in a Game: 70

Most Points Allowed in a Game: 31

RPI Power Ranking: 1

Conference Champion: Yes

Buffalo

Record: 11-5

Points per Game Margin (points for minus points against): +1.7

Most Points Scored in a Game: 43

Most Points Allowed in a Game: 42

RPI Power Ranking: 53

Conference Champion: Yes

VOTING CLOSED!  LAST PLAY UNDER BOOTH REVIEW!!!!  OUTCOME DETERMINES WINNER!


Third Round of Playoffs – Alabama vs. Buffalo

Not a college football expert in the country expected the Buffalo Bulls to make it this far. Their miracle play is exactly what makes the playoffs so exciting. The entire country seems to be Buffalo fans at the moment. Today they run head on into a team that is built on folklore and history. When you think of college football, you think of the University of Alabama. From the Bear to Saban, the University of Alabama plays hardnosed, fear-inducing football. The odds are stacked against the Bulls in this one, but then again, the odds have never been in their favor in these playoffs. No one is writing off Buffalo anymore. The Tide knows they are in for a fight.

Buffalo

Record: 10-5

Points per Game Margin (points for minus points against): +1.7

Most Points Scored in a Game: 43

Most Points Allowed in a Game: 42

RPI Power Ranking: 53

Conference Champion: Yes

Alabama

Record: 14-1

Points per Game Margin (points for minus points against): +18.15

Most Points Scored in a Game: 49

Most Points Allowed in a Game: 31

RPI Power Ranking: 9

Conference Champion: No

BUFFALO WINS!!!!!!

Voting closes on January 1, 2009

Third Round of Playoffs – Florida vs. Texas

The SEC Champions, Florida Gators take on the Longhorns from Texas in this powerhouse matchup. No big surprises here. Both teams are capable of scoring a lot of points. Both teams are lead by future NFL quarterbacks, and both teams are capable of bone crunching defensive performances. This one is a toss-up. A slight edge goes to Florida because they are playing in the swamp.

Florida

Record: 14-1

Points per Game Margin (points for minus points against): +32.31

Most Points Scored in a Game: 70

Most Points Allowed in a Game: 31

RPI Power Ranking: 1 (tie)

Conference Champion: Yes

Texas

Record: 13-1

Points per Game Margin (points for minus points against): +25.32

Most Points Scored in a Game: 56

Most Points Allowed in a Game: 39

RPI Power Ranking: 1 (tie)

Conference Champion: No

FLORIDA WINS!!!!!!

Voting closes January 1, 2009

Alabama and Florida Complete the Playoff Semifinals’ Picture

Alabama took advantage of USC’s inconsistent offense and advances to play the Cinderella team of the playoffs, the Buffalo Bulls. Buffalo took advantage of a mistake prone Penn State team in their quarterfinal game, and won by an impressive 10 point margin.

Florida had no problem with Ohio State in their quarterfinal matchup. The same can also be said of Texas’ win over Utah.

So our semis are set. Alabama will meet the most improbable team to make it this far, the Buffalo Bulls. While Florida and Texas will square off in the second semifinal game.

The games kick off tomorrow, and voting will be open until Jan 1.

Texas and Buffalo Advance

The Texas Longhorns and the Buffalo Bulls advance to semis in playoffs. Updates and highlights tomorrow!