Listen up betches, it’s time for the third installment of my periodic (read: whenever I remember to do it) series designed to force-feed you sports knowledge in the quickest, most ADD-friendly way possible. In a way, this is good practice for your holiday season bulimia - you can take the info in, regurgitate it at the first convenient opportunity, and it’ll be like it was never there. Don’t say I never did you any favors.
This is possibly the betchiest time in sports, because college games are on everyone’s radar right now. College basketball is heating up, and college football is coming down to the wire. Even if you detest the idea of sweaty bros duking it out in the closest thing society allows to gladiatorial combat, you can at least take a passing interest in how your school’s doing. If you can’t, you might as well wipe your ass with old glory and buy yourself a one-way ticket to Belgium, because you’re an America hating, cheese-eating surrender monkey. For the rest of you, read on. Hopefully, when one of your sorority sisters asks “did he make it to the touchdown?” you can say “yes dear, he did”, and then feed her another bar and send her on her way. After all, you’ve got an awful lot of school spirit to pretend to demonstrate in the coming weeks.
As big of a hit as it might be to my bro cred, I really couldn’t give less of a shit about college basketball. People (especially girls) say that they prefer college bball because it’s “more exciting” but that’s only because they’ve never watched an NBA game. If you flip back and forth between a pro game and a college game, it’s immediately obvious how much better even the worst NBA player is than 99% of college players. I guess college basketball is more exciting than NBA ball the same way The Hunger Games is more exciting with children than it would be with adults; it’s like a car wreck happening right in front of you and you can’t help but watch. NCAA Basketball should change its slogan to “Hi, we have no idea what we’re doing.”
The other annoying thing about college bball is that it’s the same fucking teams every year vying for the title. I feel like it’s always some combination of Duke, UNC, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Wake, Syracuse, UConn, Xavier, Gonzaga, and Michigan State in the final four. There’s always talk about what team’s going to be the “Cinderella story” this year, meaning which shitty team is going to play beyond their ability and advance far into the tournament, which does make for some good drama. Think about it though, if your tournament needs a “Cinderella story” to make people want to watch it, things are kind of fucked up.
It’s still early in the season, and no inter-conference play has taken place yet, but here’s a (not) surprising list of teams doing well already this season: Duke, Xavier, Syracuse, Kansas, UConn, Illinois, Cal, Florida, and Gonzaga. Shocking, I know.
Shit is getting real now. This is the last weekend for regular season play, and if you think things are more or less settled, then allow me to pour you a tall, cold glass of wake the fuck up. One of the big stories this year was Notre Dame, who has somehow gone undefeated despite having not been good at football for like 30 years. They’re basically a lock for a spot in the BCS (some random thing) championship game; that’s not a story. What is a story is that Saturday, #2 Alabama is playing #3 Georgia at 4:00 to settle once and for all who can be the most racist. They have identical records, both overall and within their conferences. Ostensibly, the winner of this game gets to play Notre Dame in the championship game. Ostensibly.
Ok, it’s pretty much a given that whoever wins that game will be the #2 seed and face ND in the championship game. But, because of the ambiguous, arbitrary way the BCS ranks teams (coaches polls, things like “strength of schedule”, who cares), there’s a tiny possibility that Georgia could win and still be #3 and miss out on the chance for the title. It won’t happen, but I bring it up because the fucked nature of the BCS and its lack of a fair playoff system is a favorite topic of conversation among bros this time of year. If you’re in a bar and the bros you’re with bring it up, just say “I know, right? I still can’t get over that bullshit from 2003!” Look it up if you care to know what happened, but it’s not really necessary. They’ll understand.
The NFL apparently has a betchy side in that they were too lazy to put any thought into the schedule, so most of the inter-division games (the ones that have a big say in who goes to the playoffs) got crammed into the last four weeks of the season. The big story developing so far is that there really aren’t any dominant teams. Atlanta is looking like at a guaranteed spot unless they have a complete meltdown, and Houston, despite having the most uncreative name in NFL history (the Texans) should clinch their division with another couple of wins. Otherwise, no one is safe at this point. There’s not a lot else to say here, so here a few important games this weekend:
Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers: The Vikings are the team that just won’t go away in the NFC North. Just when you think they’re dunzo, they pop another addy and somehow get back into the hunt. This is a huge game for them if they want to keep their chance of making it to the playoffs, but no one really expects them to. If you’re stuck watching football and making small talk (an awful scenario, I know), mention how Jared Allen is the “poor man’s Clay Matthews”, or joke about how you’ve never seen Christian Ponder with his helmet off. Bros will love that.
NY Giants at Washington Redskins: DC bros have a love-hate relationship with the Redskins, and a hate-hate relationship with the Giants. Washington could, in theory, make it into the playoffs if the stars align and they win the rest of their games this year. In order to do that, they’ll have to get past NY, which is no small feat. The G-Men have been unpredictable this year, either looking unstoppable or like a hot mess depending on the week. You could even compare the Giants this season to your bestie with the drug problem. If you’re at Public, Nellie’s, or Penn Quarter Sports Tavern this Monday night, it’s going to be noisy whether things are going well or poorly. Kind of like your bestie with the drug problem.
Seattle Seahawks at Chicago Bears: The fact that I’ll always write about my beloved Bears notwithstanding, this game is important because no one’s sure how good either of these two teams actually are. They’ve both looked impressive at times, but they’ve both been crushed. Regardless, Chicago is looking to stay atop the NFC North, and Seattle can’t afford another loss if they hope to secure a wildcard spot in the playoffs. Talking points include how short Russell Wilson (Seattle’s QB) is, and pointed debates over whether Chicago or Seattle has the shittier weather. For entertainment, look for Bro King Jay Cutler to mouth “ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME??” so clearly that you’d think he was mouthing it for a deaf person. Bonus points if he directs it towards the crowd.
That does it for this week ladies. You’ll see me back here again once we get into the playoffs.