By: Anthony Bertacchi

At a certain point you have to see the comedic side of things. If you don’t, you may lose your mind with everything going on in sports.

For instance, if you hate the designated hitter, and everything that goes into it, I encourage you to watch Bartolo Colon at the plate for no other reason than to laugh. It instantly brings a smile to your face. Take a look.

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He took the bat to first with him! That’s comedy and I will not be told otherwise. Now, what you just saw is, by no means, anything close to a world-class athlete. However, he makes everybody watching at home feel a lot better about his or her job. He makes them feel like they could do the same thing if MLB called and asked them to play. It makes you laugh and you, at least for the moment, aren’t as mad about the DH rules anymore.

That brings me to the NCAA and, more specifically, all of the college football bowl games towards the end of the year.

Now, when it comes to the NCAA, most people want them to be dismantled piece by piece. Their rules can sometimes feel unjust and outdated and it makes them an easy target.

Generally, the rule for qualifying for a bowl game was to win six games (out of 12).  If you merely finished 6-6 you were eligible for a bowl game. As of the 2013 season, the total number of bowl games were 38. Then, after much pushback, from fans and otherwise, the NCAA decided to add another game for a playoff format. This brought the number to 39 games.

The games were played anywhere from AT&T stadium in Dallas, Texas, to Albuquerque, New Mexico to Honolulu, Hawaii.

Most people used to think that 39 games were too much. People thought that it was a watered down spectacle and it needed to stop. So, understanding all of that, the NCAA decided to take action. They decided to make another change to the bowl games. What did they do? They added three more games to it, increasing the number of games to 42.

Why did they do this? They did it because… well… they can do what they want and you have no choice but to like it.

Seriously, what’s your retort to them doing this? Are you going to protest and formally complain? No, at least not in any meaningful way.

We just paid over $300 million for a Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather fight. We paid for a fight that was five years too late and even started a national conversation about Mayweather’s domestic violence past. We yelled and screamed and, in the end, nothing really changed. They’re even setting the foundation for a rematch in a year. People are suckers. We yell about things until the next shiny thing in front of us distracts us.

The NCAA knows that. They know this isn’t going to be the last drop in a bucket that forces fans to leave. Oh… and it also gives them more money. Don’t forget about that part.

As soon as the viewer statistics came out from the National Championship game it was over. The ratings on the game between Oregon and Ohio State did better numbers than the most watched cable show, The Walking Dead. So, in honor of the news, the NCAA basically said F*** You, three more games!

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With the added three bowl games the number of teams that will play in a bowl game climbs to 82 teams out of a possible 127. That’s a total of 65% for you scoring at home.

Yep, that’s right. A total of 65% of colleges will be eligible to play in a bowl game at the end of the year. All you have to do in order to qualify is not be awful. Excellence is encouraged. Being above average is respected and even being average clears the bar for the NCAA.

This doesn’t mean these extra teams are now eligible to win a championship, but it allows them to have a final win in the books before the season ends.

For those ready to bash the NCAA basketball tournament, there’s one small difference that matters. Yes, college basketball has a 68-team tournament at the end of the season. However, there’s at least a chance (even if it’s one in a million) that your hometown team can will the title. George Mason had never made it out of the first round in the history of the program until it made it to the final four in 2006. It’s rare, but at least they have a prize to reach for above that metaphorical hamster wheel.

In college football the last games of the season are nothing more than another game for the players to crash into each other for three hours, as they’re still not getting paid. Wait… I’m getting off topic. Let’s get back to the funny.

So, let me see if I understand what’s going on. First, the NCAA knows it’s overinflated, but adds more games for a playoff-style tournament, which the public seems to like.

Then, after you realize that more money can be made from adding one more game they decide to add three more… which will inevitably lead to two more games… which will inevitably lead to four more games and blah blah blah until whatever number you want to add in when the bubble finally bursts.

You do know that, eventually, the NCAA bubble is going to burst right?

Everything throughout history has a shelf life. When the NCAA cannot continue to grow at these rates it’s going to have to do one of two things. It will either shrink the number of teams playing (which means less money… so that’s out) or throw another shiny thing in the publics face to distract the viewers. (Yep, let’s do that!)

At a certain point you have to see the comedy in things. If you don’t, you’ll lose your mind at a certain point with everything in sports. This is such an obvious and blatant money grab that you have to laugh at them because you know how absurd all of this is.

At this point the NCAA is an impulse buyer online at 3:00 in the morning. The temporary euphoria of what they’re doing right now is overriding any sort of understanding that the sadness if coming later on. I don’t know when the bubble will finally burst on the NCAA, but this gets it a little bit closer. Until then, laugh at sports. It’s not that important.

 

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