Welcome to another installment of Troll Tuesday. Today, Bill Hanstock takes the helm of the USS Infuriating Commentary and steers us into uncharted waters of snide contrarianism.
You could even say he swam against the "tide" of public opinion.
The so-called "experts" in the sports analysis universe were quick to poke holes in Spurrier's statement. The more genteel among them scoffed at the notion a collection of college athletes could defeat a group of professionals, while the less-well-adjusted tried to paint the esteemed Coach Spurrier as a fraud -- or even as a clown.
But one of the greatest men to ever strap on a clipboard may be on to something.
Let's take a look at the facts:
- Nick Saban, the coach-in-good-standing for the indomitable Crimson Tide, is one of perhaps the four or five greatest football coaches to ever draw the X's and O's -- at any level. (Is it any wonder that the Cleveland Browns appear to be willing to pay any sum to wrest him away from his cozy confines down 'Bama way?)
- Alabama are the current reigning national champions and are -- once again -- currently undefeated. (Methinks they may soon be adding another crystal pigskin to their already-bulging trophy case.)
- This is perhaps the weakest NFL season on record; the latest installment in a disappointing downward trend for "the most popular sport in America." (Even the staunchest "pro football" fan can tell you: it ain't what it used to be.)
- As the old adage goes, any team can beat any other team "on any given Sunday." (The last I checked, Alabama would qualify as "any team.")
That's quite a docket of evidence in the favor of Messrs. Spurrier and Saban.
It's not just that Alabama could beat the Jaguars.
It stands to reason that the ubiquitous "Rolling Tide" could defeat any NFL team.
And it certainly includes the increasingly-suspect credentials of whoever it is manning the controls of the Jets, Jaguars, Chiefs, Browns, Rams, Redskins, Colts, Bengals, Bills, Raiders, Buccaneers ...
Need I go on?
The Crimson Tide met another of the so-called best college teams in the country this past week in the LSU Tigers and basically steamrolled them.
They are young, and their bodies heal faster than the battle-scarred knees and shoulders of their NFL counterparts. Ever play your kids in a game of backyard football? That's what it would feel like for the old codgers of the NFL.
Help, you've fallen and can't get up, NFL guys?
That's because you just played a team of indestructible 18 year olds.
The No Fun League also has another advantage: they are not as hungry as college players. Overpaid and spoiled, NFL players lack the maturity of a student-athlete. Did you have to balance a demanding academic schedule with practice? Did you have to worry about how much lunch would cost, Mr. NFL?
You probably ate a steak in your limousine.
Meanwhile, Mr. College Football Player was doing his chemistry homework in between max bench presses.
Where's the real beef in that comparison, Mr. NFL?
The real hard work that student-athletes do is one thing. The other: for all the talk of the NFL being a "real man's" league, the game has gone so soft that you can't breathe on a quarterback without getting a fine from the commish.
You know why Roger Goodell says to "protect the shield?"
Because it'll shatter if you look at it wrong, that's why.
The college game is the real man's game. Salaries are very low. Quarterbacks have to play like men and sacrifice their bodies. When a college quarterback gets hit, he runs to his left tackle and yells at him to man up and play better.
When an NFL quarterback gets hit, he runs to his attorney and files a lawsuit.
Judge Judy wouldn't tolerate that smack. Neither should we. On this election day, we say to give the people what they want. It's becoming painfully clear to even the most casual observer that Saban and his cadre of warriors are running out of things to prove on the collegiate scale.
Let's make one request that even Roger Goodell should find the good sense to consider:
Let them play.
For the people.