Like most American men, with New Years just around the corner, my thoughts have turned to Chinese food (PF Chang's, here I come), insincere New Year's resolutions ("Oh sure, I'm going to be nicer to everyone I meet"), and, of course, college football. As a fan, there is nothing more exciting than watching two teams whom I couldn't care less about play each other in the USF&G Sweet & Low Bowl or the UPS Mango Bowl or whatever other silly bowl games they have lined up for January 1st.
After all, the only important game, the championship game, won't be held into one week later on January 8th. Why the one week delay? Apparently, the geniuses behind the BCS ratings system relish this extra week of coverage, whereby every television commentator and analyst will have nothing to do but question the wisdom of the two teams selected for this year's game.
Of course, all of this might change in the future, thanks to Congress. Yes, you read that correctly. While Congress can't seem to find solutions to other problems facing Americans, such as our addiction to foreign oil, our crumbling financial system, or yet another spin-off of the Flavor of Love reality show, it's good to see that they are on top of the BCS dilemna. And no, I'm not kidding!
A proposed bill has been introduced by Texas Rep. Joe Barton, the ranking Republican on ... get this ... the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Apparently, bored with the lack of responsibility in trouble-free areas such as energy and commerce, Barton decided to attack this "pressing issue" for the good of the nation. Of course, by the "good of the nation," I mean the fanatical fans of the Texas Longhorns and the Texas Tech Red Raiders (yes, they are really called the "Red Raiders") who were incensed when conference rival, Oklahoma, received a spot in the BCS Championship game despite having a similar one-loss record (and a head-to-head loss to the Longhorns).
To right this travesty of justice, Barton's bill would make marketing the championship game as such an unfair or deceptive act or practice under the Federal Trade Commission Act, unless the game is the result of a playoff system (or includes at least one team from the "Great State of Texas"). Of course, given the speed with which Congress has acted on our other national challenges, college football fans can expect the first college football playoff to occur sometime around the introduction of the solar-powered automobile, the implementation of universal healthcare, and Sarah Palin's string of 200 straight victories on Jeopardy.
In the meantime, other members of Congress have introduced bills to resolve other common football controversies. For example, the chairperson of the House Ways and Means Committee has introduced a bill that will outlaw the prevent defense in close 4th quarter football games involving Payton Manning. Likewise, the head of the Senate Armed Forces Committee has proposed ending the century-old Army-Navy football rivarly after seven straight wins by the Navy, including a 34-0 drubbing by Navy this December. Finally, it is expected that President Bush's last official act in offense will be a pardon of the head coach of the Detroit Lions. As you know, on Sunday, Detroit became the first city to lose 16-games (and a sitting mayor) in a single season.
And who says that we don't get our money's worth out of our elected officials?