August 28, 2009

America needs college football in NYC and DC

Typically, college football rankings are dominated by public "flagship" universities (e.g., the University of Oklahoma) rather than second tier public universities (e.g., Oklahoma State). There are some well-known football powerhouse exceptions to this nomenclature rule, such as Penn State, which is actually the public flagship university of Pennsylvania (the University of Pennsylvania is private) and Ohio State (Ohio University doesn't emphasize big time sports).

Oklahoma State has had some good moments in football, such as when they had Barry Sanders, but the U. of Oklahoma has had more success. That rankles State alumnus T. Boone Pickens, the billionaire energy tycoon and financier, so he has given $265 million to State's athletic program. Pickens is an octogenarian, so he wants to win now. Oklahoma State is ranked 9th and 11th in the preseason polls.

I have to wonder how many opinion journalists somebody could buy for $265 million. (Answer: oodles.) Who cares about football, when for $265 million (assuming it was spent judiciously), you could more or less rent the U.S. military for your own personal war.

Personally, I think it's wonderful that across a broad swathe of America, incredibly competitive guys like T. Boone Pickens put their money into a non-lethal brand of pretend war.

Once again, I must point out that a major structural problem with American foreign policy is the lack of major college football programs in New York City and Washington D.C. to harmlessly absorb the competitive energies of the local personality equivalents of Pickens.

The problem with pro sports is that, other than taking the extreme step of buying a team, you can't give much money to an NFL team. You can buy season tickets, you can buy souvenirs, but you can't buy them a quarterback the way you can in college football.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

57 comments:

Anonymous said...

Steve, Jews just aren't that into sports, relative to gentiles anyway. That's a major structural problem as well.

Whiskey said...

Steve, it's a comment like this that shows your blind spot wrt SWPL.

SWPL HATE Football. And no, no amount of spending by Pickens or anyone else can counter-act the endless status mongering SWPL engage in. If a War is considered "bad" then SWPL will do their best to lose it, even if it can reasonably result in horrific results down the road. On the other hand, if War is considered "good" like say, intervention in Liberia or Guatamela to restore a Chavez-Castro ally, then SWPL will be for it no matter what the catastrophe.

SWPL HATE football, because football is working/middle class, and also features disparate groups of people coming together under a firm authority figure, to cooperate, utilize specialized talents, and beat the other guys doing the same.

This is a HORROR to SWPL. THEY view their lives as a guy demonstrating superior status, ironic attitudes, and knowledge, to show how "great" they are, and become therefore the guy with the best job, girlfriend, and hangers on.

SWPL can tolerate and sometimes endorse Baseball, because it's more individual achievements. But football? Come on, that's the biggest team game there is.

Besides, the biggest risk since WWI has been not "too much military spending" but not enough to overawe potential enemies. Particularly now with nuclear proliferation and "equalizers." The best way to avoid a fight is not SWPL kumbayah, but having a lot of firepower while allowing face-saving by potential adversaries.

[And DC has the Redskins. You might have heard of them.]

Bob said...

It's pretty depressing to be reminded that Rupert Murdoch spent about $200 million subsidizing Fox News, the Weekly Standard, and a few think tanks and got 5000 of my countrymen killed, and more than made back his investment in ratings.

Or that this happened before, when yellow journalism led to the Spanish American war, which led to current our Puerto Rican problem, as well America's pointless and genocidal war against the Philippines, during which the population of the islands decreased by more than 10%.

An argument for a heavy estate tax on heirs of large fortunes?

Murdoch certainly grew his father's fortune well, but he started out quite rich nonetheless. The other big bankroller of warmongering intellectuals is Martin Peretz, who spent much of his wife's inherited fortune on the New Republic.

John Craig said...

Steve -- That is an absolutely brilliant idea. Or better yet, force all members of Congress to either swim a mile or run three miles, every day (if they're physically capable of it). That would serve as an effective sedative, and would keep them from doing all the damage they otherwise do. And while we're at it, maybe we could have all those energetic young members of the current administration swim two or run six. They'd be healthier, and we'd be happier.

Cleveland Steamer said...

"Personally, I think it's wonderful that across a broad swathe of America, incredibly competitive guys like T. Boone Pickens put their money into a non-lethal brand of pretend war."

One reason you're not recognizing is the fact that these guys like Boone Pickens are plenty smart and competitive, but they lack that certain natural talent of extreme verbal dexterity/ability, talent for propagandizing, showmanship, media and PR savvy, that um, uh, certain other groups seem to abundantly possess.

Don't you remember that extremely lame and half-assed ad campaign from last year with those commercials with the extremely untelegenic Boone Pickens babbling on in that monotonous tired drawl about "windmills" and "foreign oil" or something.

Contrast that with say, Lawrence Bender the producer of Tarantino's films. Bender also produced Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" and managed to make even Al Gore look/seem exciting.

For an HBD guy like you, I don't know how you'd miss something like this. Pickens and Bender definitely differ in the skill sets they possess and that reflect their tribes' different respective skills and talents.

Henry Canaday said...

Believe me, Washington has an idiotically meaningless sports obsession to absorb all those competitive energies, the Redskins. I wish our military really did exist only for derivative and pointless hormonal reasons, because it would then be one-fifth its current size, like most symbolic outlets. But the dangers are real.

Anonymous said...

"Local" college programs aren't an issue. Top players at the high school level get offers from colleges across the country.

If the athletic programs are weak at the high school level, that could be more of a problem.

Garland said...

Yeah but really? I mean *really*? You think it's that simple?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Sailer, your analysis is defective for two reasons that I can discern. First, college football defines the place, not the other way around. In other words, you don't just put a college football team somewhere, that somewhere becomes where the football team is from (i.e. Gainesville, FL, Athens, GA, Norman, OK, etc). Second, how dare you mention top tier college football teams and not reference The Florida Gators. Shame on you! Go Gators!

Jokah Macpherson said...

T. Boone Pickens still finds plenty of time to write op-eds promoting natural gas as an alternate energy source while failing to disclose he is heavily invested in natural gas himself.

Virginia Tech's long-running gridiron superiority over Virginia is the biggest example I can think of where a "state" school dominated a counterpart with a serious athletic program.

Anonymous said...

I don't know. I think it's good that the taxpayers of New York don't spend their money on something as idiotic as making a big spectacle out of college football. When I moved from Long Island to Ohio, I found the obsession with college (and even high school) football to be very idiotic and provincial.

prosa123 said...

Rutgers has become sort of the de facto home football team for NYC despite being 30 miles away. Army is roughly equidistant but perhaps because of West Point's special nature, the team doesn't have a significant local following.

St. John's would be the most likely candidate among the universities in the city for upgrading to major-college football, based on its longtime basketball tradition. Fordham might be another possibility. In the closer suburbs, perhaps Seton Hall. Columbia is off the list due to its Ivy League status, NYU competes on the lowest, Division III level in sports, and I don't believe the CUNY colleges have intercollegiate teams at all.

Separately, as for University of Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State, it's not so much that the latter school is second-tier as that it's the state's land grant university, originally intended to specialize in agriculture and technical subjects. That's the common pattern with respect to "University of [state name]" vs. "[state name] State University." There are some exceptions, for example the University of Connecticut is both the Nutmeg State's flagship university and its land grant university (to this day it has a well-regarded college of agriculture despite being in a state with hardly any farms). Second-tier status is more appropriately given to "directional" universities, those with a compass direction in their names, e.g. North Tennessee State University (which is fictional, don't want to insult anyone). Many of these are former teacher's colleges that adopted more general curricula in recent decades. Universities in the Cal State system are the Golden State's version of directionals.

Peter

Anonymous said...

Not to mention that the Redskins haven't had a Superbowl win since the 91-92 season.

Anonymous said...

But are those personalities in NYC/DC even interested in football? I always thought that THEY prided themselves on an encyclopedic knowledge of baseball...

albertosaurus said...

Pickens hasn't retired to just dabble in games and hobbies. He is still in there conspirinng against the public interest to increase his own private fortune. He continues being a robber baron.

Last year when both Obama and McCain like to show themselves in their TV ads with windmills in the background. The principal advocate of windmill power was Pickens - pretending to be patriotic and public spirited. He calls the Pickens Plan - "A Call for American Energy Independence".

Pickens as it happens has a lot of his fortune in Natural Gas. Most people don't realize that windmills being an undependable source of power need to be supplemented by some other controlable source of energy. There is a lot of talk about energy storage solutions for the future but the established technology for the near term is the Natural Gas turbine. Coal and oil furnaces and turbines take hours to begin producing electricity. Gas turbines can go online in mere minutes. At the proposed installations, when the wind dies they power up the turbines.

So Pickens deceives the public into adopting wind power so as to enrich himself. Some patriot.

My cousin who follows geneology tells me that I am descended from Abraham Pairsay the first owner of a windmill in America - Willaimsburg 1609. So I guess I have an obligation to expose windmill fraud.

Half Sigma said...

None of the SUNY schools are known for their football teams, and there's no major SUNY school in New York City (unless you count FIT).

And DC has no state school because it's not a state. And there are no middle class families with college-bound children who live there anyway.

Most people who live in DC are (1) underclass; (2) college students living away from home; or (3) people who moved there AFTER college to work in white collar jobs.

Jim O'Sullivan said...

The lack of interest in college football here in the NYC Metro area is really something. Except for the "subway alumni" of Notre Dame," and the 'Cuse alumni who have returned here after college, nobody knows a thing about the college game. If you like the sound of silence, go into any sports bar on Long Island, and ask who is the reigning national champ. Most of these experts couldn't tell you where Eli Mannning went to school. It's really amazing.

SFG said...

Um, no, Steve, you're very perceptive but you're not an East Coaster. This is one of those regional things.

First of all, New Yorkers have pro sports teams such as the Yankees and the Mets, the Giants and the Jets. And the Bostonians loooove their Red Sox.

Second, the elite had traditional rivalries such as the Harvard-Yale game which have fallen by the wayside. Once the South got ahead in college football, it wasn't prestigious anymore. Prestigious universities care about their US News ranking, not their football team. Columbia University even takes *pride* in the suckiness of their football team; football team pride is for lesser universities. (And, honestly, maybe it's my Northernness but if the best thing my alma mater could claim was a football team I wouldn't be that proud; universities are supposed to teach, do research, and get good jobs for their grads, not play children's games. But I'm a nerd and a Northerner.) Witness the University Athletic Association, the anti-athletic athletic conference, which includes such schools (both in and out of the Northeast) as Case Western and Carnegie Mellon where the engineering programs are the strongest parts, NYU, which doesn't have a football team (where would it put the stadium?), the University of Chicago (of Robert Maynard 'whenever I get the urge to exercise I lie under a tree until it passes' Hutchins fame) and Brandeis, founded by you know who. (There's a joke in 'The Hebrew Hammer', where the Jewish Conspiracy has seats for bankers and lawyers but the seat for athletes is empty.)

Believe me, if East Coasters with too much money want sports to cheer on they've got them. But they don't expect their colleges to play them.

I'm going to be more anti-semitic than you for once and say the neocons' desire to have a dog in any fight has to do with their obsession with the Holocaust. They are always convinced another one is going on somewhere which they are morally bound to deal with.

Anonymous said...

Ummmm ... I think the major problems with US foreign policy are related to the ethnicity of people who disproportionately occupy positions of power in NY and DC, not their lack of access to big time college sports.

John Anello said...

I don’t think D.C. and New York necessarily need college football to “absorb competitive energies.” New York has the Yankees, the most successful sport franchise ever, and their hordes of diehard fans. The Mets also have a cult following.

The Jets and the Giants, technically located in New Jersey, also have huge fan bases.

Basketball use to be a sport New Yorkers paid attention to….do the Knicks still play at the Garden?

D.C. has the Redskins, but the sport of Washington has always been politics, the sport of the wealthy.

College football only seems to be successful in places where there are no professional sports franchises, like Oklahoma, or where the pro sports franchises are awful, like Ohio.

dr kill said...

Because the universities of NYC and DC are run for, and by, and full of pussies. That's why.

John Seiler said...

Great idea.

I was in D.C. in the mid-1980s. The city went crazy when the Redskins won the Super Bowl in 1983. Then they went crazy again when Georgetown won its only NCAA hoops championship with Patrick Ewing.

1983-84 were years of high economic growth and Reagan's landslide re-election -- "Morning in America." The bureaucrats and political hacks were preoccupied with cheering their local champions and getting drunk during games, leaving the rest of us alone more often. Obviously, they need more local champions.

MarkyMark said...

Uh Steve,

Ever hear of Rutgers? RU has been in the top 25 rankings in recent years...

MarkyMark

Anonymous said...

Absorbing energy is an interesting concept. What if it only increases energy?

I am stupefied by how much gentile energy college sports absorbs -everywhere. It is like we need the distraction to remain sane.

What would this country be without bread and circuses?

College football used to be part of the entire university. Coincident with widespread integration it became a cynical business.

Just like the USA it is on a glide path, riding on 150 years of accomplishment by a high trust, hard working society.

Kevin K said...

I'm sure Pickens can afford to fund his football team and have enough in reserve to rent the Army. Its nice to be a rich oligarch.

Anonymous said...

...the elite had traditional rivalries such as the Harvard-Yale game which have fallen by the wayside. Once the South got ahead in college football, it wasn't prestigious anymore. Prestigious universities care about their US News ranking, not their football team. Columbia University even takes *pride* in the suckiness of their football team; football team pride is for lesser universities.

I bet the jocks gave you hell in high school.

Anonymous said...

"...NYU, which doesn't have a football team (where would it put the stadium?)"

What about the roof of the Port Authority Bus Terminal? I think they're using it as a parking lot now.

More seriously, putting a football stadium above the rail yards on the west side of Midtown was a dream for both Giuliani and Bloomberg. Bloomy wanted the 2012 Olympics to be staged there.

This dream was brutally crushed by Cablevision, which owns Madison Square Garden. They thought that the stadium would be a competitor, so they flooded cable TV with ads against it. I'm a Cablevision subscriber and I've never seen so many ads in a short period of time for any single product or idea ever before or since.

It was hard to pick a side in that fight. On the one hand, adding the Olympics on top of Manhattan's usual madness would have been a bad idea. On the other hand, those rail yards are ugly and Cablevision's carpet bombing ad campaign was disgusting.

jody said...

an interesting hypothesis. but it seems to depend greatly on the idea that most of the decision makers in NYC and DC are alums of NYC and DC schools. also that a great many of the decision makers are major fans of 22 black men beating each other down over a brown oval ball.

probably not true in enough cases.

i honestly do not see how gw bush would have been less interested in invading iraq if he had gone to a hypothetical "DC U" with it's hypothetical "DC U Patriots" NCAA football team. bush was a baseball guy.

it seems more likely that the "DC U Titans" would only occupy the president's time for a few hours a week, during the game. it would be, after all, a distraction from clearing brush on his ranch, playing golf badly, and having siestas with vicente fox.

Truth said...

"If the athletic programs are weak at the high school level, that could be more of a problem."

New York State football is very weak but I read somewhere that Washington D.C had the second highest percentage of NFL players to population of any state/territory...to American Samoa of all places.

BTW:

As far as I know Syracuse University still exists.

Lucius Vorenus said...

There's a joke in 'The Hebrew Hammer', where the Jewish Conspiracy has seats for bankers and lawyers but the seat for athletes is empty.

Which would be a crying shame.

Anonymous said...

following up....imagine..if every white christian american invested 1/10th the money and time they do into football and put it towards:
a. getting informed, really informed
b. taking action.

i guess that's why government and big media are so keen on bread and circuses.

Jim O'Sullivan said...

Fordham was a big time football school - before World War II. That's where Vince Lombardi starred as one of the Seven Blocks of Granite. And yeah, Rutgers has been ranked in recent years, but nobody in New York cares.

Fred said...

It's not for lack of trying here in NJ. The head coach of the Rutgers football team is the highest paid state employee in New Jersey. Making that program big time has been a goal for at least twenty years, although it's only gotten some traction in the last few years.

But, more to the point, as someone mentioned above, we have pro football teams here (two of them), so that takes some of the steam out of the college football fan base. Places like Oklahoma don't have the pro competition. Also, blue collar guys in the New York area generally have no interest in college football, though they are usually pro fans. In flyover country, even blue collar guys are usually fans of the local college team, because that's all they have.

anony-mouse said...

While its amazing that any country had a successful military before the invention of football, I would point out that the North Vietnamese did not evidence any interest in the gridiron and did well against the US nevertheless.

I don't know that any major name athlete in any sport ever went on to become a great General

Anonymous said...

"In flyover country, even blue collar guys are usually fans of the local college team, because that's all they have."

This might be generally true, but there are certainly exceptions. Wisconsin, Texas, and Western Pennsylvania come to mind.

Oftentimes when the same population goes crazy for a pro team and a college team the teams are based in nearby but not the same places. Green Bay/Madison. Dallas/Austin. New Orleans/Baton Rouge. State College/Pittsburgh. Cleveland/Columbus. I wonder if a places like NYC and DC are too parochial to like teams that are nearby but not in the city...

Anonymous said...

"Pickens deceives the public into adopting wind power so as to enrich himself. Some patriot."

Where's the fraud? America needs more, not less, sources of energy in order to (eventually) drive down costs and restart economic growth. WithOUT wind-power-augmented natural gas power plants, the grid is failing and will eventually fail completely, leaving us all starving in the dark, being's how SWPLs still can't see their way clear to allowing us to go nuclear.
Why is it evil for T. Boone to see a need and make a few bucks filling it?And he's under no moral obligation to reveal his own financial investment. He's not selling stock. He's asking the SWPLs to pressure gov't to let him give them what they say they want.

John Craig said...

Anony-mouse -- It's hard to be a top athlete these days at a place like West Point since they have so many other requirements (unlike, say, UNLV). But despite that, two top athletes did go on to become generals. George Patton competed in the Olympics as a pentathlete. And Pete Dawkins won the Heisman Trophy for West Point (back in the days when they were still giving it to white running backs) and went on to become a one star general before he left the Army for Wall Street. (I know, you said GREAT general, and Dawkins wasn't that, but at least he made it to that rank.)

Anonymous said...

Steve, that's quite an asinine thing to say - public intellectuals in Washington and New York should focus their mental energy on college football? I know plenty of intelligent people who moved to New York and Washington primarily to escape the pedantic college-football-following, dreary, intellectually stiffling lifestyle that you propagate in your little post. Anyone with who is over the age of 30 and has an IQ over 110 would be a fool to follow college football.

You're becoming a WASPy dullard in your old age.

Jody said...

Rutgers + UMCP.

Anonymous said...

I don't know that any major name athlete in any sport ever went on to become a great General

Try the Modern Pentathlon, sadly always in danger of being dropped from the Olympics. George Patton should have medalled in the 1912 Games, but the judges probably denied him gold due to a technicality. Hasso von Manteuffel, one of Patton's main opponents in the Ardennes campaign, was also an MP champion.

travis said...

Steve, that's quite an asinine thing to say - public intellectuals in Washington and New York should focus their mental energy on college football?

I guess you missed Steve's point. Clearly the intelligent people you know would better serve the nation by wasting more of their time following college football and focusing less of their mental energies on reconstructing nations and bailing out banks.

Anonymous said...

How about putting Prozac and estrogen into the water supply? From that slightly obscene picture of him jogging without his shirt, it appears Obama already has a budding case of gynecomasty. After a few months of drinking treated tap water he'll be ready to perform the transsexual torch song number with The Capitol Steps.

Reg Cæsar said...

The University of Pennsylvania is private. New York University is private. The University of New Jersey is non-existent*. The University of New England (the original) is in New South Wales.

New Yorkers don't have to choose between the Ivy League and the state ag school. The latter is part of (otherwise private) Cornell. You'd think just making their players walk to class from downtown Ithaca would produce the toughest backs in the land.

*Unless you count Princeton, which was the "College of New Jersey" back when Reese Witherspoon's ancestor ran the place.

MarkyMark said...

Reg Cesar,

Rutgers U's official name is, "Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey"...

MarkyMark

neil craig said...

$265 mill would also pay half of an orbital shuttle X-Prize (Pournelle's assessment). Not being rich I guess I just don't understand the high level attitude that would make somebody prefer helping a team win to having the prize that put humanity permanently in space named after you. By comparison even your own war is ephemeral.

OhioStater said...

Sailer, you are missing the obvious! College football is popular in red states! Where is college football a religion? The Deep South and the Plains. Of course, Southern California is the most dominant team, but I'd bet a fair number of USC alumni live in Orange County and the O.C. is typically one of the largest sources of GOP votes. College football is not on the list of "Stuff White People Like".

OhioStater said...

Let's ask the "horserace" question instead: Why does pro football thrive in New York (Giants, Jets) and in DC (Redskins) while college football does not, whereas the opposite is true in Los Angeles where the NFL has failed but UCLA and Southern Cal have thrived?

I don't have a solid answer, but I'll propose one for discussion purposes. I'll say that New York and DC are outward-looking imperial cities, whereas Los Angeles is an inward-looking parochial city. People in places like NYC and DC, are always worried that some other city such as London, Paris or Chicago is catching up, whereas Los Angelenos KNOW they live in the most habitable place on earth and don't worry much about anyone else.

Columbus, Ohio where I live is more like Los Angeles than New York not because we have palm trees and glamour, but because Columbus is parochial and cares more about nearby (Michigan Wolverines) than distant. Also Columbus is too small to be taken seriously as a world cultural player, so Columbus doesn't worry about its cosmopolitan standing.

College football famously lacks a play off so there is no clear way to determine the dominating national champion. College football thrives on regional rivalries, such as cross-town (USC and UCLA), cross-state (Florida and Florida State), and border wars (Texas vs Oklahoma).

I suspect if you are interested in asserting yourself over a wide area, pro football is the vehicle for you, whereas if you only care about one foe, then college football is your game.

Like I said, this is for discussion.

Anonymous said...

DC and NYC are like my town, Boston. The colleges were first to play but the pros rule. And those colleges were private, anyway.

There are special circumstances at the college level, though. When North Carolina plays Duke in football, is it ever half as important as NC-Duke hoops? In Boston we have hockey, which is as big here as basketball is in North Carolina. Which is why we have as an add on to the historic Boston Bruins hockey game at Fenway Park on New Years Day-my defending NCAA hockey champion Boston University Terriers will take the ice against archrival Boston College. The tickets for both events have so much demand that there will be a lottery for ducats!

Brutus

Reactionary said...

I wish our military really did exist only for derivative and pointless hormonal reasons, because it would then be one-fifth its current size, like most symbolic outlets.

That's what I'm talkin' 'bout.

Seriously, break uhmerrka up into around 250 micro-states and when the lads need to let off steam, send them out to some border area so they can fire over each other's heads and go back to the bar and sing patriotic songs and brag about how they kicked the other side's ass. The lasses will be duly impressed, everybody will pair off into couples, they'll be more into their families than into fighting, and when their sons hit puberty, they can redo the whole charade.

Reg Cæsar said...

Rutgers U's official name is, "Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey"...

Yes, so that's the equivalent of "New Jersey State", not "New Jersey U." My point holds.

Anonymous said...

Murdoch sold off the Weekly (Neocon) Standard recently, for $1 million. The buyer is a well-intentioned but not always well informed evangelical billionaire who funded the Chronicles of Narnia movies. He also owns the Washington Examiner, which has loaded up on ex-National Review “talent.”

Murdoch really isn’t the brain behind Neocon policies to say the least. But as he wanted to make money, he saw that the underserved right of center political position in the USA media market was a dream business opportunity. Murdoch has actually moved to the left on many issues, but remains a fanatical supporter of Israel.

Mr. Anon said...

"Whiskey said...

Steve, it's a comment like this that shows your blind spot wrt SWPL.

SWPL HATE Football."

Nonsense, like most of what Whiskey writes. Who do you think supports the Forty Niners? A lot of Cabernet sipping urbanites, among others.

Did Whiskey/T99 even know about the SWPL meme, until Steve helped to popularize it?

SFG said...

I know plenty of intelligent people who moved to New York and Washington primarily to escape the pedantic college-football-following, dreary, intellectually stiffling lifestyle that you propagate in your little post. Anyone with who is over the age of 30 and has an IQ over 110 would be a fool to follow college football.

All liberals, I'm sure. Sports are conservative, and being an Easterner just means you follow baseball or pro football instead of college football. Trust me, you're a guy, you have to talk about sports. (Which, as some people here have figured out, I hate.) Being on the Columbia football team's still a huge leg up compared to being a regular Columbia grad...it's just that Columbia isn't famous for football.

It's really one of these regional things. Giving them pro football isn't going to help, because if they're not distracted by the Yankees (you remember how our own home-grown Rudy Giuliani loved them) they're not going to be distracted by the Lions or Violets on steroids. Since baseball has no salary cap, your payroll is determined by the size of your market, which means NYC wins a lot. The Yankees appeal to every New Yorker's atavistic urge to feel his hometown is important and can beat up any other city. The Red Sox appeal to Boston's eternal desire to kick New York in the crotch.


Seriously, break uhmerrka up into around 250 micro-states and when the lads need to let off steam, send them out to some border area so they can fire over each other's heads and go back to the bar and sing patriotic songs and brag about how they kicked the other side's ass. The lasses will be duly impressed, everybody will pair off into couples, they'll be more into their families than into fighting, and when their sons hit puberty, they can redo the whole charade.

What do you think pro sports is? The Yankees-Red Sox rivalry prevents NY and Boston from having pitched battles on I-495. Who was it that said Europe now has soccer games instead of wars? You might roll your eyes at the violence in the stands, but it beats WWII.

Svigor said...

reflect their tribes' different respective skills and talents

Which is why my Netflix queue would be empty if I insisted on having standards?

David said...

>maybe it's my Northernness but if the best thing my alma mater could claim was a football team I wouldn't be that proud; universities are supposed to teach, do research, and get good jobs for their grads, not play children's games. <

Wow. True, but if you wrote an article saying so for my local rag in Knoxville, Tennessee (home of the Vols), you would be in real danger of your life, at least at this point in the season.

I keep a large orange-and-white relic well-displayed in my American car during football season. A bit of extra insurance.

CGHill said...

And Oklahoma does now actually have a major-league sports team - the NBA's Oklahoma City Thunder, which relocated from Seattle before last season - though you'd never know it this time of year, since basketball season is several weeks away and college football has already begun.

Simon Oliver Lockwood said...

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the fact that DC does have local college football. The University of Maryland is located in College Park -- a suburb inside the Beltway. The school is more competitive in basketball, but its football team often goes to mid-ranked bowls. A sizable number of the upper middle class sends their kids to Maryland -- particularly the ones who live in Maryland.