O you dear women’s and men’s phantoms!

Walt Whitman I

With all due respect to Walt Whitman:

My writer friend Rob in Iowa recently e-mailed me (Rutgers-Camden Law Class of 2015):

Welcome to the Big Ten.

We don’t really want you and we’ll be terrible hosts but money talks and somehow you and Mary got roped in.

What are we?

For centuries we’re what might be best described as 2 bully frogs and 8 lily pads. The supreme hatred against OSU and UM ( two schools that would abandon their Creative Writing Depts if it somehow resulted in bigger better weight rooms) runs riot throughout the conference … but nothing ever changes. Every year since King Arthur, the frogs have stomped all over the pads. No, nothing in the Big Ten ever changes. Brent Musburger wills it to be so.

Yes, we now have the Nit Lions and Big Red, but they are both treated like a fat uncle at the dinner table with hardly enough to go around. You and Mary will be treated worse. Two immigrants trying to find a night location on a cold winter’s night… and we’re in ‘divisions’ now… based on geography… so where the hell you’ll end up is anyone’s guess.

Divisions. This is to ensure that if some interloper like a Purdue or Iowa actually scores a lucky win against the bucks or the wolves, they’ll be given another chance in a money grubbing champ-game to beat the snot out of the dare-to-be-great. Nobody smells the roses except the 2 overlords.

Lucky for us peons, we can’t watch anymore. The Big Ten now has its own TV thing. It was suppose to be on ‘basic’ but that promise was tossed out the window early on. So unless you are willing to throw out big bucks every month for the right to witness the stompings, you’re on the outs, kiddo. Use to watch the gridiron Hawks maybe 6 or 7 times a year on the ‘local’. Just about every B-ball game. That’s all gone. More NCAA progress.

So welcome aboard, Rutgers and Maryland.

What were you thinking?

My only comment: I thought the fat uncle at the dinner table was Sandusky….?

On a football-related note, reviewing the final NFL standings by point differential, New England, who was only third last year behind the Packers and Saints after leading the NFL in 2010, led the NFL again this past season by almost five touchdowns over the Broncos at +226. The Colts (11-5 despite being outscored by 30 points) were ridiculously lucky (pun intended), where the Giants (led the NFC East at +85, missed the playoffs), Bears (led the NFC North at +98, missed the playoffs), and Saints (losing record despite outscoring the opposition by a touchdown) were to varying degrees screwed. The Steelers (8-8 despite a +22) also arguably deserved a better fate than the Colts. As far as the 4-12 Eagles? Being outscored by 164 points will do that. Only the 2-14 Jaguars and Chiefs were outscored by more– so perhaps the Walrus will help after all.

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