A couple of weeks ago, I phone into EDSBS Live, the online talk radio show hosted by EDSBS’s Orson Swindle and BON’s Peter Bean. My recommendation was that they should start to provide a public service in giving tips to those of us who struggle through the off-season waiting for the next one to start.
Last night, EDSBS Live resurrected the “Four Question” format that they’ve used the past two years. Below are the four questions as posed by Swindle:
1. Your offseason proxy sport. The mistress to college football. Or, less complementarily, the piece on the side good for a Wednesday night beer run/slap ‘n tickle session of your sporting world.
2. Entertaining question for your team that will keep your brain occupied sufficiently for the next 2-3 months. For instance: we’ll spend the offseason wondering at the emergence of Omar Hunter at defensive tackle, and pray he doesn’t injure himself squatting whole dormitories during training sessions.
3. Book we need to all read (since we have time.) A cheap ploy to build a reading list, but we’ll take them where we can get them. Once we get be-Kindled, the eyeball buffet will commence.
4. One extremely premature prediction for 2009 (football-wise.) That Ole Miss wins the SEC West thanks to Jevan Snead and the year-two phenomenon. Also because we want a rematch, you Giggitards.
Two of the four (#1, #3) were directly pointed at my recommendation.
For #1, there’s no secret with regards to an offseason proxy sport. For me it’s college baseball. I realize college baseball doesn’t have the allure of professional sports, but it doesn’t get in the way either. Pro sports to me have become much less about the sport and more about the ‘cult of personality’ than anything. Fans of those sports tend to talk as much as who Tom Brady is dating as they do about his on-field performances and I’m not into that at all. Seems to me to be on the level of celebrity worship or soap opera watching, both things I avoid.
College baseball fits perfectly with college football because the season doesn’t start until after college football’s signing day, and it lasts until the third week in June. The only conflict that arises between the two sports is the annual spring game, and that’s only for a day, so it would be easy to convince college football that you're not having an affair with another sport, only that you happened to run into a baseball series by accident.
With regards to recommendations for offseason books, I went with the best ‘unknown’ football book I have read, which is “Pigskin Pulpit” by Ty Cashion. If you’re into football history, it is an excellent read. It is a social history of Texas high school football coaches. The only downside, I concluded, was that between the poverty and bleak conditions in which football was played during the early 20th century and the changes the coaches experienced as time moved forward, one has to conclude that our country is going to hell in a hand basket because of the fact that we’ve become pretty darned soft over the years.
At that point, both hosts complained that I sounded too much like their fathers, which I guess accounts for our difference in age and where we are in life. That, and obviously both of them are mamby-pamby weiner boys who take pride in their level of comfort and love for double latte's with a big smattering of whipped cream on top.
I ran out of time for a second recommendation, but quickly inserted James Johnson’s “The Wow Boys”, which is an excellent book about the 1940 Stanford Indians and the invention of the T-Formation.
Incidentally, #2 - entertaining question that will keep my brain sufficiently occupied for the next 2-3 months - I don’t have a good answer for Nebraska. We have a problem in that we didn’t do well enough to gain recognition, while at the same time we’re not awful enough that we can complain about much. We didn't experience any coaching turnovers and so far no one is getting into trouble.
Perhaps the most interesting question of the off-season is the quarterback position, but neither Patrick Witt nor Zac Lee have played enough for us to say much about them. No doubt this will lead to rampant speculation as the spring game approaches and continue for a while thereafter.
I didn’t really have an answer for #4. The caller before me remarked that Kansas would win the Big 12, so I went with Nebraska winning the Big 12 or something along those lines. More on this as the off-season continues.
Any way, I have resolved that I’ll continue to call into EDSBS Live for the rest of the offseason (schedule permitting) and provide more tips on how to survive the offseason.