Last week the NCAA’s Playing Rules Oversight Panel officially announced that football will no longer be any fun.  As of 2011, the sport will be a joyless, emotional vacuum completely devoid of excitement and passion.  “We hope the new rules crush every player and fan involved in college football,” cackled Coach Randy Edsall, chair of the rules committee.  “Why do these college kids insist on making football into a game?”

Well, maybe that’s not quite what he said.  But the new ban on eye-black messages and live-play celebration makes me wonder how far the NCAA will go to sap any and all traces of individuality and excitement from the college game.

Maybe I’m a bitter Los Angeles sports fan still broken up after two divorces with the Oakland Traitors and St. Louis Shams, but it sure feels like college football has something that the NFL is just missing. 

When’s the last time you saw fans swarm security and storm the field in the National Football League?  Where’s the passion in a league without loyalty?  We love college football because of the excitement, the electricity, and the raw energy of teams still playing for a school, for a state, and for fun – not for a job or a paycheck. 

The last thing we want to see is college football looking more professional.

"If your kid (wears eye-black messages or celebrates druing a play), he is saying that he's more of an individual than a team guy," said Edsal.  "Maybe don't recruit a kid like that."

Thank you for your insight, Coach Edsal.  How selfish of Rey Maualuga to scrawl RIP DAD below each eye in honor of his father, Tony, who died of brain cancer two days before the 2005 National Championship game.

How upsetting to see senior tailback Desmond Reed, who lost the opportunity for a starting role as a sophomore when he tore ligaments in his right knee (and never really, fully recovered), celebrate a 34-yard reverse, double-pass touchdown in the 2007 Rose Bowl -- the culmination of a frustrating but inspirational college career -- with a dramatic front-flip into the endzone (see attached video at 1:30).

Were it 2011, Reed's flip would have been as good as a tackle, and Maualuga's memorial would have been banished to Twitter.

"The rules committee voted unanimously on this," said Dave Parry, the NCAA's National Coordinator of College Football Officiating.  "Let's keep the lid on sportsmanship and prevent that type of demeaning."

I've got a better idea.  Let's keep a lid on the soul-sucking old leeches in the NCAA office before they outlaw everything good and human from college football.

And prevent that type of demeaning.

 

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