Understanding Ebenezer

As Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel. But the LORD thundered with a loud thunder upon the Philistines that day, and so confused them that they were overcome before Israel. And the men of Israel went out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, and drove them back as far as below Beth Car. Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the LORD has helped us.” So the Philistines were subdued, and they did not come anymore into the territory of Israel. And the hand of the LORD was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel.” (1 Samuel 7:10-13)


Ebenezer thus means “stone of help”, which isn’t necessarily vital or even helpful information, just an interesting note to begin a discussion of the holiday season and the undeniable emotional dichotomy it presents.


I had always heard folks say that Christmas is both the happiest and saddest time of the year. I am sure somewhere in the annals of time a well known sage or scribe uttered a memorable quote denoting this, but I cannot tell you that for sure. At any rate, it is something I’ve heard but never really paid much attention to…until now.


I have always loved the Thanksgiving-Christmas-New Year’s holiday corridor. Christmas especially…with its singular music, delicious food, classic movies & TV specials, lovely lights & decorations, and unique vibe has always been my favorite holiday. As a child one is obviously drawn toward the idea of Santa Claus and presents, while adulthood hopefully brings about a deeper appreciation of Christmas as a celebration of the birth of our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ. At least that was my experience anyway. Many of us also have a plethora of traditions, usually family related, that we take for granted as kids then develop a wistful nostalgia for as we grow older. Most people mature & evolve, developing new traditions as life’s many transitions…birth, death, marriage, relocation…occur. But it is in these inevitable transitions that the aforementioned duality develops.


Let me go back to Ebenezer for a moment. That, of course, is the first name of the protagonist Scrooge in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. I feel confident in assuming most will have read the book or watched the movies and be familiar with the story. Scrooge is a mean, uncaring, greedy miser who hates everything and everyone. But why?? I am not Dr. Phil, Dr. Drew, Dr. Oz, or Dr. Ruth, but I have read the book and know that The Ghost of Christmas Past showed that there were reasons why Scrooge ended up the way he did. It is suggested that his childhood wasn’t the best, that his Dad treated him badly. He did have a sister, Fan, that he loved dearly, but she died as a young woman during childbirth. That probably was the exclamation point that sealed Scrooge’s bitterness. In between these two events we see Scrooge become a businessman obsessed with money, an obsession that cost him the only other person he ever seemed to have loved, a fiancee named Belle.


Now I know that Ebenezer Scrooge is a fictional character. I can separate fantasy from reality. But it seems likely that Dickens based his story and his characters, to a degree, on his real life experiences. And let’s face it…we all know people in our own lives that share atleast a shadow of a trait or two or three with ol’ Scrooge.


As I move steadily along my 30’s on the brink of “middle age” I have struggled mightily to retain my childish enthusiasm for Christmas. I still love the sights and sounds and smells of the season. But I have also developed a deeper understanding of how and why it can also be a very sad time for some, and why there are those that are more like Ebenezer Scrooge than Bob Cratchit.


Those inevitable transitions of life are much kinder to some than others. The most important night of the holiday season when I was a kid was Christmas Eve when we would gather at my grandparents’ home to celebrate what I call The Mano Fish Fest. It is a hybrid version of the Italian-Catholic Feast of the Seven Fishes, modified because for some strange reason my particular branch of the family is not Catholic, I am not sure we’ve ever had 7 types of fish, and there is a lot of other food as well. As my grandparents grew older the celebration moved to my aunt’s house, but for the most part nothing else changed. However, over time things have been transformed significantly. A photo of the big night from 20 years ago versus one from last year will show that several people…my grandfather, my Mom, my maternal grandmother (who was always included even though she was not a Mano), a couple of cousins, and an uncle…have died. My Grandma Mano is now 96 and in poor health. My aunt isn’t all that well herself, and I can foresee the day when the big Fish Fest is a thing of the past, and I have nothing better to do on Christmas Eve than stay at home watching the TBS A Christmas Story marathon. Christmas Day has changed dramatically too. My life, as well as the lives of my father and sister, was forever altered by the death of my mother ten years ago. We decided that we just couldn’t celebrate Christmas at my parents’ house with Mom gone, so we transitioned to my sisters’ home. At the time her two boys were just little tikes and she’d do her best to fix a meal, although it could never live up to the feast Mom always prepared. Now my nephews are teenagers, and they have to spend part of the day with their father and his 2nd wife and family anyway. All my grandparents’ came to our house on Christmas Day when I was a child, so that of course is gone now too. Add to all these changes the fact that I am single and have no children. My friend The Owl and I have had many discussions about how society is dictated by and for married people with children and how single, childless individuals are marginalized and often get lost in the shuffle. It is no one’s fault, and it is not my intention to lay blame at anyone’s feet or expect the world to cry me a river. We all have our issues. My purpose here is simply to point out my increased understanding of the two-sided, happy/sad Christmas coin. And I won’t even go into what a nightmare it is to go shopping this time of year. I haven’t decided if the fact that I used to love that hustle & bustle but now dread going within a mile of the mall in December is more a reflection of my own personality changing or just the growing debasement of society as a whole.


Please do not misunderstand. I am not becoming an acrimonious old misanthrope. I still love Christmas. But I do realize how and why so many find this time of year to be nothing but lonely and sad. I am very fortunate to have what family remains, a roof over my head, a job that enables me to buy a few gifts for my Dad, sister, and nephews, and a church with which I am involved that engages in a lot of Christmas activities (even if half of them get cancelled almost annually when the powers-that-be are repeatedly surprised that it is cold in December). There are so many people who aren’t as fortunate, and that realization helps me overcome my own tendency to gravitate toward melancholy.


I wish I had some sagacious words of wisdom for those whose spirits are pierced with the sharp sword of sorrow this time of year, but unfortunately I am not quite there yet. All I can say is that I can, on some level, understand and empathize, just like I can dislike the type of ill tempered curmudgeon that personifies the Scrooge mentality but can also say with a smidgen of sagacity that I get it, that I see where they are coming from and will keep them in my prayers.

 

 


 

Sammy Claus Wish List 2010

It’s that time of year once again. Your local shopping malls and department stores all have a fat guy in a red suit with a white beard on whose lap the kiddies want to sit so they can lie to him, say they’ve been a good little boy or girl, and receive an overpriced toy on Christmas morning that they’ll be bored with by New Year’s. Well here at The Manofesto we like to get in on the fun too. The rules are a bit different though. First of all, I am only wearing half of the Santa suit. I will let you guess which half. Secondly, no one is currently sitting on my lap, but I am allowing females over the age of 21 to audition for the role of a naughty elf. Call or text me anytime. And unfortunately I wield no real power in getting the following recipients their potential gifts. I can only hope that in between checking his list twice, stalking all the children while they are sleeping AND awake, and stuffing his chubby face with tasty treats the real Santa Claus does a bit of Internet surfing and is a regular reader of this humble website of mine. However if there are any kind souls who would like to bring yours truly some milk & cookies I prefer 1% or skim and am partial to chocolate chip or Oreos. Enjoy.



The People of The Gulf Coast …..continued economic and environmental recovery from the oil spill


Pittsburgh Steelers Linebacker James Harrison…..an increase in salary equal to the amount NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has screwed him out of this season


Katy Perry…..modesty


The New Incoming Congress…..success in dealing with The Obama Regime and returning America to its Constitutional roots


The Republican Party…..an emergent, fresh, interesting, viable Presidential candidate that believes in core conservative principles


The Hockey Player Who Stole Carrie Underwood From Me…..eternal damnation


The iPad…..a much lower price


Rich Fraudriguez…..Josh Groban’s Greatest Hits


The Minnesota Vikings…..a new stadium


Hardees/Carl’s Jr……the return of roast beef sammiches – please


Miley Cyrus…..grace & caution as she understandably sows her wild oats


The Big East…..a map

The Big 10…..a calculator

The BCS…..a playoff


Larry King…..a happy retirement (but no more wives young enough to be his granddaughter)


Time-Warner Cable…..The NFL Network


Atheists, Non-Believers, Heathens, & Scoffers…..prayer & salvation


The View…..cancellation


People Who Watch Reality TV…..better taste


American Citizens…..job opportunities & lower taxes

American Soldiers…..home



Let me leave you with a quote from the Rankin-Bass animated classic Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town:

Lot’s of unhappiness? Maybe so. But doesn’t Santa take a little bit of that unhappiness away? Doesn’t a smile on Christmas morning scratch out a tear cried on a sadder day? Not much maybe. But what would happen if we all tried to be like Santa and learned to give as only he can give: of ourselves, our talents, our love and our hearts? Maybe we could all learn Santa’s beautiful lesson and maybe there would finally be peace on Earth and good will toward men.”


2010-11 College Football Bowl Prognostications

College football bowl season has arrived and it is a fascinating dichotomy. On one hand there are far too many bowl games, the season drags on way too long, and rewarding average teams for their mediocrity is just silly. On the other hand, it provides us with about three weeks of nearly non-stop football, and that cannot be considered a bad thing. I must warn my dear readers not to bet any money based on these picks, not only because The Manofesto doesn’t condone gambling but because my choices last year were so bad that I have blocked the atrocity of the final numbers from my brain. Nevertheless, the time has come to get back on the horse and give it another whirl. Enjoy.



New Mexico Bowl

BYU vs. UTEP

12/18…2pm…ESPN

Two 6-6 teams meet in a bowl named after a place…a double whammy of awful. I’ll take BYU in a laugher.


Humanitarian Bowl

Northern Illinois vs. Fresno St.

12/18…5:30 pm…ESPN

Northern Illinois won 10 games this season, but when you’re in the MAC that doesn’t mean much more than ending up in a lower tier bowl in Boise, Idaho. On top of that the Huskies are in the midst of a coaching change after their head man bolted for Minnesota. Fresno St. is always fun to watch and I give them the slight edge in what should be a high scoring affair decided by less than a touchdown.


New Orleans Bowl

Ohio vs. Troy

12/18…9pm…ESPN

The question I have is will anyone be watching this game?? I’ll take the Bobcats in a snoozefest.


St. Petersburg Bowl

Southern Miss. vs. Louisville

12/21…8pm…ESPN

Louisville uses the current inane rules to squeak into the postseason at 6-6, which theoretically would make them an underdog to the 8-4 Golden Eagles, but I’m not buying it. I like Cardinals head coach Charlie Strong, who I believe will get his team back to its winning ways sooner rather than later. This contest may serve as a springboard. Louisville wins easily.


Las Vegas Bowl

Utah vs. Boise St.

12/22…8pm…ESPN

The most disappointed team in America has to be Boise St., who fell just a 3 point OT loss to Nevada short of being undefeated. It is unlikely that the Broncos would have been playing for the national title anyway, but they almost certainly would have had a date with one of the big boys in a BCS bowl had they achieved perfection. Utah ain’t no slouch either. The Utes won 10 games and will be moving to The Pac 10 next season. I’m looking forward to this game and believe it will be really entertaining. Most pundits will undoubtedly favor Boise St., thinking that they will be angry about falling short of their goal and take that frustration out on their opponents. That may very well be the case. But it is also quite possible that disappointment will outweigh anger and open up the door for an upset. I have a vibe that the latter will be the case, so I’m picking Utah.


Poinsettia Bowl

Navy vs. San Diego St.

12/23…8pm…ESPN

A bowl named after the quintessential Christmas flower and played on Christmas Eve Eve. I can dig that. It is pretty much a home game for the Aztecs, but I’m picking the Midshipmen.


Hawaii Bowl

Hawaii vs. Tulsa

12/24 …8pm…ESPN

This is another game where one of the participants is playing a home game, which sort of defeats the purpose of a bowl game in my opinion. This time I will take the home team, as I feel like Hawaii is a better team who is more battle tested.


Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl

Florida International vs. Toledo

12/26…8:30pm…ESPN

Formerly known as the Motor City Bowl, this is the game that rewards two teams’ success with a trip to Detroit in December. Florida International is another 6-6 team that probably shouldn’t be playing a postseason game. Why should they be playing while 8-4 Temple stays home for the holidays?? Anyway, most fans will probably be watching the Philly/Minnesota NFL game on the night after Christmas and skip this yawner, which I think will be won by Toledo.


Independence Bowl

Air Force vs. Georgia Tech

12/27…5pm…ESPN2

Again I ask…6-6 Georgia Tech goes bowling while Temple’s Owls watch on TV?? It’s just not right. I’ll take Air Force in a competitive game.


Champs Sports Bowl

West Virginia vs. NC State

12/28…6:30pm…ESPN

WVU is one of my favorite teams, so I won’t pick against them. However, from as objective a point of view as I can muster the Mountaineers should win with good defense.


Insight Bowl

Missouri vs. Iowa

12/28…10pm…ESPN

Iowa looked to be in the BCS hunt early on but took quite a tumble at the end of the season, losing their final three games. Missouri is always better than people think they are. I love a west coast late night bowl game, although I’ll miss the later half of this one since it’s a work night. That’s unfortunate, because I think it’ll be quite a good game that the Hawkeyes win late in the 4th quarter.


Military Bowl

East Carolina vs. Maryland

12/29…2:30pm…ESPN

Formerly known as the EagleBank Bowl and played in Washington DC, so this is almost a home game for the Terrapins. I have a certain level of affection for East Carolina and hope they end up in The Big East someday, but this year they’re just another undeserving 6-6 team. Still, I think this will be a more than decent contest. I suppose I’ll take Maryland in a coin flip.


Texas Bowl

Illinois vs. Baylor

12/29…6pm…ESPN

I don’t have an issue with Texas. My best friend lives there and likes it just fine. But bowls should not be named after places. It’s just so damn pretentious, pedestrian, and uncreative. Despite Illinois being yet another annoying 6-6 bowl participant and this game being close enough to a home game for Baylor I will pick the Illini for the win.


Alamo Bowl

Oklahoma St. vs. Arizona

12/29…9:15pm…ESPN

Oklahoma St. hung 65 points on an opponent twice this season, and scored in the 40-55 point range in most of their other games. Mountaineer fans are excited that the Cowboys offensive coordinator is heading east to run West Virginia’s underachieving offense next year and take over as head coach in 2012. Meanwhile, Arizona limped to a 7-5 finish by losing their final four games. This late night contest is also on a work night for me, so I am bummed to be missing the 2nd half of what will probably be a high scoring shootout. I am going to place the over/under at about 75 and take the over, with Oklahoma St. prevailing.


Armed Forces Bowl

Army vs. SMU

12/30…Noon…ESPN

It’s nice to see the once dead Mustangs program back and successful. Unfortunately I think their second straight postseason appearance will end like the first…with a loss.


Pinstripe Bowl

Kansas St. vs. Syracuse

12/30…3:20pm…ESPN

Big East fans know the ‘Cuse is back. Maybe not all the way back, but definitely on the cusp. Yankee Stadium may not be the sun bathed paradise most players and fans desire for a bowl game, but it’s atleast cooler than Detroit or Idaho. I’ll take a the Orangemen in a low scoring affair.


Music City Bowl

North Carolina vs. Tennessee

12/30…6:40pm…ESPN

UNC had much higher expectations coming into 2010, and the Volunteers have seemingly been spinning their wheels for several years. This game could be used as a launch pad for future success, and since I suspect that these teams cover a lot of the same recruiting territory I am sure it is being taken seriously. Tennessee is riding a four game winning streak and seems to have the momentum, so that’s the pick.


Holiday Bowl

Nebraska vs. Washington

12/30…10pm…ESPN

This, thankfully, is a late night game I will be able to watch since I am off that night. It is also a rare bowl rematch of two teams that met in the regular season, a game which the Cornhuskers dominated. Washington QB Jake Locker will be a top 10 NFL draft choice this spring, yet his Huskies could only muster a 6-6 record. Meanwhile, Nebraska, one of college football’s historically elite programs, is a ten game winner and only a narrow loss to Oklahoma in The Big 12 (or however many teams they have) championship game kept them out of the BCS mix. They’ll head to The Big 10 (or however many teams they have) next season and I think they’ll do so on the heels of an impressive victory.


Meineke Bowl

South Florida vs. Clemson

12/31…Noon…ESPN

Beating the ACC whenever the opportunity arises is a big deal for The Big East. The latter is constantly maligned for being a weak conference undeserving of a seat at the big table, while the ACC is given a pass even though it isn’t any more impressive, just bigger. Both teams have been inconsistent and unpredictable this season, so that makes this game difficult to get a handle on. I’ll take the Bulls in a squeaker.


Sun Bowl

Notre Dame vs. Miami

12/31…2pm…CBS

This would be an awesome matchup…if it were 1988. Unfortunately for these teams Lou Holtz and Jimmy Johnson aren’t walking through the door. Neither is Hurricanes head coach Randy Shannon, or I guess I should say former head coach. Shannon was fired a few weeks ago despite the program seeming to be on the doorstep of reclaiming its former glory. I guess the powers-that-be don’t really care that his players were graduating and the team’s thugnacious reputation has improved. Maybe the folks in charge at “The U” prefer their players to be members of Future Inmates of America. The Irish, meanwhile, improved from 6-6 in 2009 under former coach Charlie Weis to 7-5 under new coach Brian Kelly. Big leap, huh?? Anyway, I detest both these teams and wish they’d both lose, but someone’s got to win. Because of the upheaval a coaching change brings I cannot in good conscience pick Miami, so I will reluctantly take Notre Dame. I have to go throw up now.


Liberty Bowl

Georgia vs. Central Florida

12/31…3:30pm…ESPN

This season was a huge disappointment for the 6-6 Georgia Bulldogs. Conversely it was a great 10 win, Conference USA winning season for the UCF Knights. UCF is 0-3 in bowl games since moving up to Division 1-A in 1996. I say that losing streak ends here as the Knights surprise the Bulldogs.


Chick-fil-A Bowl

South Carolina vs. Florida St.

12/31…7:30pm…ESPN

This is the poster child for how far into the abyss college football has fallen. Formerly known…for four decades…as the Peach Bowl, it became corporately sponsored and then eventually the sponsor just decided to screw tradition and name the game after the company. I detest such idiocy. However, it is still a good football game and the 2010 contest should be a dandy. Because Steve Spurrier is a better, more experienced coach at this point than Jimbo Fisher I have to give the nod to the Gamecocks.


TicketCity Bowl

Northwestern vs. Texas Tech

New Year’s Day…Noon…ESPNU

Nothing speaks of the relative importance of a game than the fact that it can be viewed on ESPNU. I guess Versus couldn’t come up with the cash. I mean really…this is a New Year’s Day game. CBS, ABC, and Fox all have only one bowl game this season, and NBC has none. It’s just so different from the way things were not all that long ago, and I am not sure ESPN’s dominance is such a positive thing. Also, this game is being played in the old Cotton Bowl stadium but is NOT the Cotton Bowl or a replacement for it. It’s just another new bowl game, as if there weren’t enough already. At any rate, a matchup of two 7-5 teams doesn’t look all that appetizing on paper, but I think this may turn out to be a more than decent game, with Northwestern winning in front of a hostile crowd.


Outback Bowl

Florida vs. Penn State

New Year’s Day…1pm…ABC

Yes ladies & gentlemen, Joe Paterno is still coaching at Penn St. Now whether or not he is still alive is debatable. I think it is quite possible that the folks in Happy Valley have been pulling off some sort of Weekend at Bernie’s thing with the corpse of JoePa since the mid-90’s. One thing is for sure though…the Nittany Lions just keep on winning. They haven’t been in the national title mix for a few years, but they had won atleast 9 games for five straight seasons until this year’s 7-5 finish. This will be the swan song…for now…for outgoing Gators coach Urban Meyer, a middle aged, metrosexual, angst-ridden Dick Vermeil wannabe. If there is any justice Paterno’s boys will unload heretofore unseen offensive firepower on their opponents and show that sticking around is almost always better than slinking away like a pansy-ass milquetoast.


Capital One Bowl

Alabama vs. Michigan State

New Year’s Day…1pm…ESPN

This may be the best game on the postseason schedule other than the championship. Both teams were in the thick of the title hunt, with the Spartans falling just short of being undefeated by way of a loss to Iowa. I bet they are really kicking themselves for that loss now since the Hawkeyes proved to be vastly overrated. I’m not really sure what happened to the Crimson Tide, as they came into this season as defending national champions with 8 returning starters on offense, including the 2009 Heisman Trophy winner, RB Mark Ingram. Losses to Auburn, LSU, and South Carolina derailed the opportunity for a repeat. I have high expectations that this one will be a heavyweight fight and highly entertaining, and in a flip of the coin I’ll take Michigan State for the victory.


Gator Bowl

Mississippi St. vs. Michigan

New Year’s Day…1:30pm…ESPN2

What has happened to the Gator Bowl?? It used to be a 2nd tier New Year’s Day game, but even though it is still being played on January 1st I’m not sure it deserves the respect of being considered 2nd tier. How does a 7-5 Michigan team…with “impressive” victories over UMass, Bowling Green, and Indiana…get an opportunity to play in January and get the big pay day?? It is mind boggling. I am unabashedly rooting for the Bulldogs and I hope they hang 60 points on that dirtbag Fraudriguez.


Rose Bowl

Wisconsin vs. TCU

New Year’s Day…5pm…ESPN

They call it The Grandaddy, and this year the Rose Bowl lives up to the hype. TCU gets the opportunity to prove they belong on the big stage against a legitimate opponent, but unfortunately I think they will have to do that by means of a moral victory. Wisconsin wins, but if it is a fun, competitive, close game then TCU still gets the respect of fans and talking heads alike. If the game is a blowout then the Horned Frogs will have to wait until they join The Big East to get back their mojo.


Fiesta Bowl

Connecticut vs. Oklahoma `

New Year’s Day…8:30pm…ESPN

Oklahoma vs. a Big East team in the Fiesta Bowl. That brings back memories. Can the Huskies shock the Sooners ala the Mountaineers in 2008 (not to mention Boise St. upsetting Oklahoma as well in the 2007 game)?? I would very much like to think it is possible, but on an intellectual level I just can’t pull the trigger on such a pick. The Sooners win, but it will be more of a battle than most expect.


Orange Bowl

Stanford vs. Virginia Tech

1/3…8:30pm…ESPN

Stanford proves that a successful athletic program and high academic standards can go hand-in-hand. This will probably be the last collegiate game for Cardinal QB Andrew Luck, who is likely to enter the NFL Draft and become a first round pick, and I think he’ll go out a winner.


Sugar Bowl

Ohio State vs. Arkansas

1/4…8:30pm…ESPN

The Buckeyes were #1 until a mid-season misstep against Wisconsin. The Razorbacks are another team with a highly regarded quarterback, Ryan Mallett, who will be playing on Sundays next fall. Look for a great game decided by turnovers and special teams, with Arkansas prevailing.


GoDaddy.com Bowl

Middle Tennessee vs. Miami, OH

1/6…8pm…ESPN

This is where things go awry and begin to get silly. First of all, I hate the name GoDaddy.com. I think it’s a website building/domain name company, but I’m not sure. What I do know is that they use sex to sell their product. Don’t misunderstand…I am a red blooded American male and certainly no prude. I just think their advertising is cheap, unimaginative, and unnecessary. Secondly, this game is being played on January 6. Not only has the college football season begun to drag on far too long past what used to be a New Year’s Day finish, but now we are getting crappy games featuring lower level teams playing way too deep into the new year. It is unappealing and unacceptable. But it is still football so fans, including me, will watch. Miami’s coach just got hired for the same gig at Pitt, so that might be the deciding factor in Middle Tennessee’s second consecutive bowl win.


Cotton Bowl

LSU vs. Texas A&M

1/7…8pm…FOX

Isn’t Dallas, TX special?? We already looked at the game being played in the old Cotton Bowl stadium, but this is the traditional Cotton Bowl game. It used to be an important New Year’s Day game for over a half century, but for some reason it has seemingly lost a degree of importance. This go round the game has been moved to the Dallas Cowboys’ shiny new billion dollar mega-stadium, and the matchup itself is interesting. LSU’s games are rarely boring, and somehow they usually find a way to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, except for losses to #1 Auburn and Arkansas. I’ll pick the Tigers to pull out one more heart stopping win.


Compass Bowl

Pitt vs. Kentucky `

1/8…Noon…ESPN

If the NCAA had any sense of humor this game would feature two directional schools. Kentucky, at 6-6, has no business doing anything in January except returning Christmas gifts. Pitt is nominally better at 7-5, but they are another team who just fired their coach so they’ll have an interim guy leading the charge until the new coach takes over. I’m going to take the upset here with the Wildcats winning a low scoring, prosaic affair.


Fight Hunger Bowl

Nevada vs. Boston College

1/9…9pm…ESPN

This is the old Emerald Bowl in San Francisco, a game Boston College has played in often enough that California charges the team property taxes. Nevada got everyone’s attention by taking down Boise State, and I think they’ll keep it by winning big.


National Championship Game

Oregon vs. Auburn

January 10, 2011 – ESPN

Finally, the big one. I am not a fan of the BCS and have always advocated a playoff, but I will admit that more often than not the system works the way it is meant to when it comes to the championship game. This game is a great example, as most fans will agree Auburn and Oregon are undoubtedly the best two teams in the country. I am not convinced that Auburn QB and Heisman winner Cam Newton didn’t know anything about his father’s nefarious activities involving trying to get money for his kid to play ball, but the NCAA cleared the young man and Auburn has never been implicated at all anyway, so I will just let that mess go. On the field this has the potential to be an instant classic, and I am looking forward to an exciting, fast paced, high scoring game. Newton receiving most of the attention…both good and bad…might be a huge positive for the Ducks, and wouldn’t it be ironic if a game in which everyone is trumpeting full throttle offense is decided by a few key defensive plays?? After much thought and consideration I am picking Oregon to win the title in a 34-27 type of contest.