Tag Archives: NBC

The Oversaturation Killing the NFL is Good for College Football

All this time, the NFL has seemed so bullet-proof, but we’re seeing vulnerability in the armor. People aren’t watching as much, and they don’t like the way the product is being dispersed.

What plagues the professional game actually seems to aid college football. While we understand Saturday remains the best day to see the best games, we don’t feel like the occasional Thursday or Friday games are scheduled to do us dirty.

You want to play one of these games on the moon at 4 o’clock on a Tuesday, College Football fans will adjust. Just tell them when/where the tailgate is, and they’re cool.

Tell an NFL fan that Sunday Ticket is only offering a game that his antenna won’t in the late spot on Sunday, and they’re livid with London and Thursday Night Football. The presentation of the NFL game is too clean for fans to adapt to these random game-time windows.

College Football fans see Thursday, and now also Tuesday and Wednesday, as an opportunity to showcase a game that might be buried on ESPNU or some dreaded streaming option at noon on Saturday.

Western Michigan is the “Other” Team

Last Tuesday, the nation’s “other” unbeaten team had the undivided attention of the College Football diehards in Muncie. Maybe a 32-point win over Ball State isn’t that sexy on paper, but did you see what Corey Davis did?

Do you feel anything was flukey about Western Michigan’s 9-0 start? Maybe you understand the pecking order, and where the Mid-American Conference gets pecked. Maybe there’s an obligation to qualify the two road wins over the Big Ten by reminding everyone that Illinois was one of those wins. Maybe you wonder if the MAC juggernaut deserves to be on the field with a mid-major darling like Boise State.

Friday night, by the way, a nationwide audience was given a chance to watch the other Broncos bounce back from their first loss of the season, which happened on October 29.

Remember the 80s?

Just for kicks, you could have watched games involving Oklahoma and Colorado last Thursday. Maybe something like that would have excited you more 25-30 years ago, but those games affect the outcome of the Big 12 and Pac-12, because the present is weird.

You love it, and it takes nothing away from Saturday afternoon or evening.

Election Threads and Football on the Diamond

This coming Tuesday, Eastern Michigan will continue a semi-annual MAC tradition of paying homage to democracy with Election Day uniforms, back in Muncie–for #MACtion. Speaking of everyone’s favorite non-defense-playing conference, you’ll be sure to see Cubs fans from DeKalb to Northern Ohio trolling Guaranteed Rate Field on Chicago’s south side this Wednesday.

It’s football at a baseball stadium. Yeah, Northwestern and Illinois got Wrigley on a Saturday, and GameDay went to Wrigleyville. This next chapter in the great Toledo-Northern Illinois saga might get Roy Philbott, Rocky Boiman, and an ESPN2 production crew to urban Illinois on a school night.

Does Anyone Get Pac-12 Network?

Thursday, we get Utah in the Valley of the Sun, for the FS1 weekend preview. It’s up to the Utes to prove that anyone other than Washington is worth a damn in that conference. This game isn’t being stolen from ABC at 3:30, but more likely from a channel you don’t get, even if you live in Phoenix or Salt Lake City.

NBC is Glad It’s You, Not Them

CBS gave you three games on Saturday, just as they would when they have London and the 1 PM/4 PM doubleheader on Sunday. They got Notre Dame because they have Navy rights. Notre Dame lost again; great moment for Navy. Is College Football worse off for the Irish’s 3-6 campaign?

I doubt CBS or Navy care. They’re going to care about records a lot more in December when they’re selling some lousy SEC East team’s upset potential against Alabama in Atlanta.

Hurts Donut?

Speaking of the Tide, Jalen Hurts may have provided the only offensive spark for Alabama in a 10-0 win in Death Valley at night. There’s a joke to be told including Alabama’s quarterback’s last name and a breakfast food that looks like a zero, but I’m striking out.

The networks are hitting it out of the park though and in doing so, they’ve won us over with quantity over quality. More may mean too much on Sunday, but we love it on Saturday, Thursday, and sometimes Tuesday.

Comment on this and every article by becoming a Campus Pressbox Insider.

Sam's Take: MTAF Wheels IndyCar Q & A for July 18th

sam july 18After racing on ovals for two straight weekends, the Verizon IndyCar Series heads back to the street circuit this weekend for the final doubleheader of the 2014 season. The IndyCars will be up in Toronto, Ontario in Canada for the Honda Indy Toronto at Exhibition Place. Arguably the second biggest street race on the IndyCar schedule behind Long Beach, Toronto has been hosting IndyCars since 1986. Canadian racing fans have a big passion for open wheel racing.

Coverage of the Saturday/Sunday doubleheader starts each day at 3pm Eastern time on NBCSN and also on radio with the IndyCar Radio Network. You can find your local station right here. If you have satellite radio, you can listen to Sirius channel 213 and XM channel 109.

Curt Cavin’s Q & A for July 15th

“Question: Other than obviously Dario Franchitti, are there any retired senior statesmen in the IndyCar paddock who would acquit themselves well if they were to race today? (Dave, Cincinnati, Ohio)”

This is a very good question. It would take some thinking. If you would give the driver a car that can be competitive and run respectfully, there are quite a few drivers that I can think of. My list would include Gil de Ferran, Paul Tracy, Michael Andretti, Bobby Rahal, Little Al, Jimmy Vasser, Bryan Herta, and Robby Gordon (even though he is still racing with his Stadium SuperTrucks series.). There are quite a few more drivers that would acquit themselves in today’s IndyCar Series, but the drivers above are all I can think of off the top of my head.

“Question: I am curious if you have heard of or has the Speedway decided on a replacement for Jim Nabors? I grew up with him singing “Back Home Again” and will be difficult to find a worthy long-term replacement. I have thought about it since the end of this year’s race. I think Mike Rowe of “Dirty Jobs” and “Deadliest Catch” fame would be a popular and offer a fine rendition. Thoughts? (Gary, Beaufort, S.C.)”

The Speedway has not named a replacement as of today. I never realized Mike Rowe had a singing talent. I will have to look on YouTube for his singing. You are correct on the difficulty of finding a long term replacement. Whoever replaces Nabors will have some huge shoes to fill.

Robin Miller’s Mailbag for July 16th

Q: You are spot on with your commentary about the ovals. After spending most of my adult life in advertising and marketing (and fighting against a lot of the nonsense marketing gurus pass off as gospel) there is one aspect of marketing wisdom that is utterly true now. You cannot expect today’s consumer to only want the THING…it’s not enough. Today, people want the whole EXPERIENCE, and that’s why the road and street courses are successful and the ovals are not. I grew up going to a lot of short track races but have been converted to a road racing enthusiast because it is so much more involving to be able to wander around to different vantage points and not just be stuck in an aluminum bleacher for hours leading up to the show. To your point, there are many things the series must do to reinvigorate the oval part of the schedule, but until they figure out a way to allow the spectators more up close and personal experiences, they have a tough road to hoe.
Steve C., Ithaca, NY”

You make a very good point. Just the oval race itself doesn’t draw a packed house much anymore (unless its the Indianapolis 500). Some suggestions to add to the one oval race would be Robby Gordon’s Stadium Super Trucks, the three ladders of the Mazda Road to Indy, and the Global RallyCross. A good benefit of going to an IndyCar race weekend is paddock access, access that is not much allowed in NASCAR and Formula One. Ovals need to step it up if they want to draw crowds like road and street course events.

Q: I was just wondering why the series does not consider doubleheaders at Iowa or Milwaukee. It is obvious that IndyCar has a problem giving fans a lot of on track action on ovals. It is crazy to have a race at 7:30pm and have no activity beforehand. Why not shorten the distance of an oval and run one Saturday and one Sunday?
Also, with NASCAR coming over to NBC and NBCSN, would IndyCar ever consider working a buyout with NBCSN to get out of the deal? The idea would be to keep the 5-6 races that ABC pays for and buy airtime with the proceeds of any NBCSN buyout for the remaining races that ABC would not be willing to pay. I know what the series would get in any buyout would not cover all the airtime to purchase but it would help. My thought process is that 300,000-400,000 viewers a race is killing the series and it would be easier for the teams to get sponsors if they averaged 900,000-1,300,000 viewers a race.
Brian, Joliet, Illinois”

I was thinking about this the other day and thought to myself, “Why don’t they do doubleheaders on ovals? Have two races on a oval on the same weekend but shorter distances?” Instead of having one on Saturday and Sunday, have both races on the same day. Start the first race at lets say 1:00 and then have the second race at lets say 6:00. IndyCar tried bringing back twin races on the ovals at Texas three years ago but didn’t fare out so well. It needs to be done right. I don’t think IndyCar is considering a buyout with NBCSN. That wouldn’t be the smart thing to do considering NASCAR is joining the channel next season. Let’s wait and see how the ratings do in 2015. ABC has exclusive network TV rights to IndyCar which is why you don’t see IndyCar races on the main NBC channel. I would like for IndyCar to negotiate ABC to drop their exclusivity and let NBC air races. Obviously it would help the ratings.

Q: The way to fix IndyCar Racing 101? Just listen. Horsepower must be the largest in auto racing. Put drivers in TV commercials for Verizon, Snapple, DHL, Target, etc. in prime time TV. Put out a line of toys with the drivers cars and names. Stop rotating drivers; drivers should stay with the same teams and sponsors and car numbers. Double file restarts on ovals and street/road and standing starts on all street/road courses. Larger Indy 500 purse, no speed limits in the pits and bring back apron. Lower infield tickets by 50%. More races on the East coast like Watkins Glen, Loudon, NH and Port Imperial N.J. The series must be on NBC, FOX or ABC not CNBC or NBCSN.
Tony, Mamaroneck, NY”

I like your suggestions. Don’t forget to add Richmond to the list of east coast venues and maybe Baltimore. More races on network tv would be a boost. Trust me, if ABC didn’t have exclusive network rights, NBC would air a few races on the main channel.

Q: The solution for oval shows is sitting right in IndyCar’s lap. It is The Mazda Road to Indy. You have three feeder series right there, and these young guns need time on an oval. Running all four races in one day will increase the value of the tickets and remove the boredom of the two-seater droning around. It would also be a way to help out with Saturday’s gate if there is action all day. Also, Iowa would be perfect for a USAC show with midgets, sprints and Silver Crown cars on Saturday. If Phoenix ever did this again, I would be buying tickets in a heartbeat. Give the fans more action, not some band that Hinch and Rahal think are boring. If Bobby Rahal and AJ Foyt like them, don’t book them! As for promotion, IndyCar missed it again with Pocono. If you have an event that doesn’t have a title sponsor, put Verizon on it. Help get their name out more. Why would Verizon help out IndyCar if they don’t help Verizon? 
John in Arizona”

The Mazda Road to Indy would work well at short ovals such as Iowa and Milwaukee, but you can’t run USF2000 and Pro Mazda on big ovals such as Indy, Pocono, and Fontana. USAC would be a nice addition to the race day as well. I would run the USAC event the same day of the IndyCar race. Day/night doubleheader maybe?

Q: I feel like this letter is a repeat of my letter last season after the Baltimore race. Great job by RHR, but I’m more excited to see Josef Newgarden on the podium again. The kid has loads of talent and personality, something IndyCar needs. I know he’s had a tough year up until now with most of it being out of his control. We watched him win in Indy Lights and have been rooting for him since. I sense this kid is going to go far. Are any of the Big Three interested in him? 
Sue from MA”

Josef is one of IndyCar’s many great personalities. Very fan friendly and a good sense of humor. Not to mention a good driver with a small Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing team. I would think any of the big three would love to have him. I think he would be a good fit at either Penske, Ganassi or Andretti. We shall see.

Q: The Iowa race was the best flag to flag race I’ve seen this year. I had to watch it in a bar in Boise, Idaho with no sound other than a jukebox playing heavy metal music. I sat next to a couple that were not race fans, but as the race unfolded they got hooked and stayed to the end. I know that every race can’t be as exciting, and there are more factors that make a great race besides the track, but Iowa brings the best out of IndyCar drivers. (And Iowa might have converted the couple sitting next me.) Politics and funding aside, what existing tracks that resemble Iowa would you like to see added to the IndyCar schedule? Phoenix? Gateway? Richmond?
Gerry Courtney, San Francisco, CA”

I would put it next to Indy as the best race of 2014 so far. Nice to add a couple of new fans from Idaho out of all places. I have watched some races at sports bars and I also had to listen to music instead of the broadcast. If at all possible, Phoenix, Gateway, and Richmond ALL need to be on the schedule.

Q: Helluva race in Iowa! What a steal for RHR and he’s looking ready to make a serious charge for the championship now. How fast did Ed split town after the race to avoid JPM? Probably the best race next to the 500 this year and that’s saying a lot because there has been tons of action most of the year. Really makes me we wish that someone would use their brain and get these cars back to New Hampshire. I know all has been quiet on the Rhode Island front although I hear that talk might be ramping up again soon…but I think NHMS would be a better call. You have any info on RI? Heard that the powers that be might have wanted a Boston street race but that got nixed because folks didn’t want to fight the tree huggers to put a race on.
Jake Murray”

RHR pulled a Kevin Harvick didn’t he? Brilliant move by Andretti Autosport and Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing to put their drivers 1-2. I imagine Ed and JPM have talked about the incident and I believe all is good (I think). I wish New Hampshire would have been given another chance. The last race was pretty good with the exception of what happened on the last restart. Look up the 1993 race at Loudon and you would agree that IndyCar needs another chance at New Hampshire. The DW12 would be a great fit for Loudon. There was talk of a street race around Gillette Stadium but not so much now.

Q: I have to say PT is getting better and better in the booth with every race. I was watching qualifying and it was great how he described what was happening in the cockpit and all the things the driver is doing for his two-lap run. I was also happy to hear him say good things about being involved with Team Penske. It’s been a long time since Roger has taken a flyer on a young driver and regardless of all the conflicts and firings, he did give PT a career in a winning car (well, most of the time). I’d be interested to hear what PT has to say about Roger sticking with his own chassis when clearly the Reynard was the best car. I guess we know the ultimate answer as the year he went to the Reynard/Honda/Firestone, Gil won the championship. Whatever happened to Reynard anyway?
Jim Doyle”

PT is a nice addition to the tv booth. He was made for the tv booth in my opinion. I wouldn’t know what PT would have thought of Penske staying with his own chassis and the Goodyear tire from 1996-1999. I think PT is appreciative of Roger because he pretty much launched his racing career even though it did not end well.  Reynard went bankrupt in 2002 and I don’t believe they are in racing anymore.

Q: About drumming up interest in oval racing how about a twin bill with NHRA? (By watching ESPN and attending, crowds are hurting). There are 12 tracks that Indy can team up with them. I know Charlotte, Atlanta, and Vegas are iffy. The two that pulled my attention are Gateway and Bristol. Bristol run eliminations till you have 12 cars or less for the finals. Gateway would be a lower risk way of returning and dragging some more butts in NHRA seats.
Dennis Halaszynski Pittsburgh, Pa”

Don’t know if this would work, but it is worth a try. I have never been to a NHRA event, but would love to go to the U.S. Nationals sometime. I believe it would be beneficial for the Verizon IndyCar Series to have dual weekends with the Tudor Championship – United SportsCar Racing series.

Thank you to Curt Cavin of the Indianapolis Star, Robin Miller of Racer.com, and to the readers for their questions from their respective Q & A’s.

Follow MTAF Wheels on Twitter @MTAFWheels. Join the conversation this weekend for the Honda Indy Toronto on Twitter with myself @sklein31 and Shay @SHAYZEN. Use the hashtags #IndyCar and #2inTO.

MTAF Wheels is now on Facebook. Be sure to like us on Facebook

Featured image by Chris Jones

 

 

 

Who Still Hates Notre Dame?

ndflag
“I hate them more than any team in all of sports.”
So, we’re going to start with the answer and work our way back to the question; it’s sort of like Jeopardy in that way. There’s a few ways to ask the question, but they all boil down to, “What do you think of this team?”
There are a few usual suspects you could use to fill in the blank. The Yankees, Red Wings, and a certain NFL team in Western Pennsylvania come to mind, but if you ask the first ten people you see, who it is that they detest, Notre Dame is going to be said.
I know some die-hard fans, those who love their own so much that they barely acknowledge any other teams exist, and those people live to hate Notre Dame. Three paragraphs in, and I’ve used that word twice. I don’t like throwing the concept of hatred around like it’s something casual, but there’s nothing like the irrational levels of discontent you’ll see from College Football fans that have no dog in the fight when it comes to the Irish.
To be honest, I don’t really have a dog in the fight either. I was a victim of their overexposure as a kid; everyone was. I liked them, but they were easy to watch in a time that a lot of College Football was not easy to watch, just speaking from an accessibility standpoint. They were also easy to watch because Lou Holtz had them winning football games, and it was a change from the monotony of Big Ten football.

There was the Catholic thing too, except I never really thought of it as a “thing”. We were mostly Catholic throughout the neighborhood, and Notre Dame’s affiliation was more what I’d call convenient, rather than some sort of tie that binds. I’ve been told that using the Catholic thing is weak, and have never really had the energy to argue that it wasn’t. If anything, the big draw for people my age is simple, those Fighting Irish teams were good and it was compelling football. In Northeast Ohio 30 years ago, it was just a nice alternative to whatever Earle Bruce had going on in Columbus.
It wasn’t that I didn’t like the Buckeyes, one might make a valid argument for how Urban’s program should be tangled into this context, but it was just an alternative. It’s an alternative that I needed, given what sports had to offer the children of the Cleveland-area in the early 80s. I was grateful to have the superstations, to give me the Mets, Cubs, and Braves, as a supplement to the limited coverage I had with the abysmal Indians. With the Mets, WOR actually gave me a glimpse at a World Champion; with the Cubs and Braves–not so much. Notre Dame was the same way, almost as if they’d been magically beamed to my living room week to say, “You want to see quality football? Well, here you go.”
They were constantly front-page news, and deservedly so. Off the top of my head, I recall a meeting with Miami and a Jimmy Johnson team sporting one of those ridiculous winning streaks in South Bend; it was a game Notre Dame won when the Canes went for 2 and the win, back when you had to make that choice. That was the beginning of the new guard, ghosts of Gerry Faust had been exorcised. I ask Midwest people a few years older than I am how they feel about Notre Dame, and if they aren’t among the sworn enemies of any school with an option between blue and green jerseys, they basically remind me how irrelevant Notre Dame was with that High School clown from Cincinnati running the show during their formative years.

And that’s funny, because relevance plays such a big factor in this conversation. They stayed relevant so long that I don’t remember exactly when things became unglued in South Bend. There was no question, the Irish were at the peak of their popularity for that wild 1993 season, the one with a November matchup with Florida State drawing hype in August. I can remember, it was a game that lived up to the hype, one where Notre Dame needed to beat Charlie Ward and a defense stacked with NFL talent, and it got that win. After winning a game that meant everything in the world, they tripped in a game that few gave a second thought, in their very next game.
It was some time after Boston College and Tom Coughlin had shocked them in front of Touchdown Jesus and anyone else watching, probably not too long after Beano Cook had promised Ron Paulus two Heisman trophies, that winning bowl games, Lou Holtz, and any Heisman conversation quickly became a past tense thing in their pocket of Indiana. I’m not even sure they have any regional ground to claim, though there’s never been any denying the reach of their fan base, whether it’s Southern California, Palo Alto, or even Phoenix. Maybe that brings the denomination card back into play; they wouldn’t be the first nation to have a people without land.
No sooner than completing that thought in my own head did I realize how disasterous the idea of “Domer Nation” might be, but the fans are out there. I’ve seen them fill up Sun Devil Stadium and I’ve seen them pack Jerry Jones’ monstrosity in Dallas. By the way, you could replace Notre Dame with Dallas Cowboys throughout this piece and remain fairly accurate, acknowledging that the praise due these one-time dynasties expired after 1996, but the fans that have never been to South Bend or Northern Texas still root for these teams as if they’re faithful alumni of either organization.
Do you call it a bandwagon? Can you really call these fans front-runners? Tony Romo has exactly one post-season victory, and that’s all Cowboys fans have had since Aikman last won a Super Bowl, but forget the Cowboys. The Irish, who co-authored their own clause into the Bowl Championship Series bylaws, haven’t exactly fared well in this new age of College Football. They drew Dennis Erickson and Oregon State in the Fiesta Bowl; that didn’t go well. A few coaching changes later, Charlie Weis had them back there; that was a game that made Ohio State look really good.
A year later, new venue, same result, with LSU sticking it to them in the Sugar Bowl. I suppose you could say Weis had them back at the grown folks table, but not for every holiday. Brady Quinn seemed to be the driving force behind their return to prominence, but he took his talents to Cleveland and Weis couldn’t do it with the highly touted Jimmy Claussen, but he couldn’t do it with Quinn a second time around in Kansas City either.

To get things back on track and bring us to the present, I’ll say Brian Kelly has done a hell of a job. I don’t care what anyone says about how lopsided some of those BCS Championship games were, most of the opponents belonged in that place that ultimately equaled a good ole fashioned whoopin’, the 2012 Notre Dame Fighting Irish among that group. Bizzare things have to happen to get teams to those title games; I mean, Auburn’s last two regular season games in 2013 have to balance out the chances Notre Dame had against Pittsburgh and Stanford in 2012, right?
That was a cameo appearance if there ever was one. Notre Dame just wasn’t the same animal without the defenisive players they lost, compounded with the unexpected loss of Everett Goldson, but those fans who are disinterested with any season that won’t end with a national title are gone. Every fan base has those “fans”. They’re disliked, both in and out of their own ranks, and they’re the outliers that aren’t relevant to this discussion about relevance.
Is Notre Dame relevant? Of course they are, they always are, and for the simple fact that there’s dialouge to be had about them. Is their sweetheart deal with NBC and all of their opponents’ broadcast partners a little too sweet for your liking? I happen to think so, and I’m not as fatigued with Notre Dame on an overall basis as the next guy. Do you have to accept that they are? Absolutely not.

Of course, everyone would concede that in a vacuum, they don’t belong in the football conversation very often, but we don’t block out The Gipper, Rudy, or those Golden Domes very well, so Notre Dame maintains its own chapter in the annual story of College Football. They probably don’t “deserve” it, but they’re going to get it every year.
This year will be no different.

If My Wife Divorces Me, Blame College Football

by Ryan Isley

Thursday night marked the beginning of yet another college football season. And it sent me to Google to see if there was any way possible to block searches for “divorce attorneys in Akron, OH.” While I was watching Jadeveon Clowney and the South Carolina Gamecocks beat North Carolina 27-10, my wife was undoubtedly trying to figure out how many boxes it would take to pack up all of my stuff.

Let me explain…

Everyone knows my passion for sports, including my wife. In fact, she knows it better than anyone. While we were touring reception halls to prepare for our wedding, one of the first things I looked at was to see if there was a television near the bar in the room. Why? Because our wedding was on March 24, 2012 and I had a feeling even over a year in advance that Ohio State would be playing in the NCAA Tournament that day.

I was right. And during our wedding reception, we had a big screen television to watch as the Buckeyes defeated Syracuse to advance to the Final Four. When we left for our honeymoon, the first stop was in Columbus so that I could purchase some Final Four gear for our cruise. Of course my wife found an Ohio State purse that she bought and loves, but I digress.

But as much as I love college basketball, baseball, NBA, NHL, NFL and NASCAR, it has to be college football that probably drives my wife the craziest. And while I enjoy watching the NFL on Thursdays, Sundays and Mondays, it comes nowhere close to my obsession for college football.

I am addicted to college football. I am addicted so badly that even my phone knows it. When I type “Jad” into my phone, it completes it to “Jadeveon.” I watch every game possible that is televised, which becomes a lot of games when you factor in that we now have Fox Sports 1, CBS College Sports Network and the PAC-12 Network to go along with NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, Big Ten Network and the multiple ESPN channels.

The season kicks off with games on five consecutive days, starting with Thursday and culminating with the annual Labor Day game, this season pitting Florida State against Pitt. The next six weeks will feature college football on just three days – Thursday through Saturday – before Tuesdays start to get taken over by college football on October 15th. Starting with that week, there will be no less than four days a week in which college football games will be on my television.

I don’t care who is playing on those days – I will be watching. My wife has sat through numerous games between teams she has never even heard of, but that I seem to know way too much about. Louisiana-Lafayette against Western Kentucky? Yeah, I will certainly be watching the Ragin’ Cajuns as they take on the Hilltoppers. And I will watch the next week as the Ragin’ Cajuns battle Arkansas State, even if the Red Wolves are missing Gus Malzahn and Ryan Aplin.

As if it isn’t bad enough that I have to watch every game on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, my Saturdays are even more ridiculous. Unfortunately this year, my routine will be changed a little as I will be working until about 1:00 pm on Saturdays for right now. In years past, I would wake up to watch as much pregame stuff as I could find until College Gameday starts on ESPN.

After that, it was on to the games.

Last year, I went up to our bedroom and became oblivious to anything other than football for the next 10 hours, watching bits and pieces of each and every game on television, thanks to picture-in-picture. And if we had an extra television, it would have been set up in the bedroom to help out with the schedule.

I watch with my Phil Steele college football magazine and my remote control, flipping channels at each commercial. I also have my laptop open to the ESPN and CBS Sports scoreboards so that I know when there is a crucial moment in any other game in order to be able to flip to that game when needed.

I only leave the bedroom to take a bathroom break, grab a drink refill or maybe a snack. I have been known to watch football straight through the evening hours without even thinking about dinner. In fact, there was a Saturday last season where I received a text message from my wife (who was in the living room) that dinner was here. I didn’t even know she had called and ordered pizza and wings.

I know some of you are thinking “but football lasts more than 10 hours on Saturdays.” And it does. I only spend 10 hours in the bedroom because I move down to the living room when my wife goes to bed. That is when I watch the end of the primetime game and any west coast games that might be on later, which is where the PAC-12 Network was so clutch last season. When all of the live games are over, I will watch replays of games if any of the networks are showing them.

And then a few days later, the vicious cycle repeats itself.

Somehow, my marriage survived this ritual of ridiculousness last season and I can only hope that it continues to survive again this season and for seasons to come.

So if any divorce attorneys in Akron or Canton or the surrounding areas see the name “Isley, Melanie” pop up on your caller IDs in the next few months, please don’t answer – I am just watching another football game.

Comments? Questions? You can leave them here or email Ryan at [email protected]