Friday, November 09, 2012

Sports Friday: 11/9/12

My normal bedtime is between 9:30 and 10 PM. These days, the list of sporting events in which I am willing to stay up past my bedtime is...quite short. At one time that list included weeknight football games involving my favorite college and pro teams, but today? Nope. Both Florida State and the Jacksonville Jaguars played last night, and still, I went to bed at the usual bedtime. Last night would have been a good night to stick with FSU until the end (they won in the final minute), but of course, I didn't know that going in. Some time ago, I decided it wasn't really worth it.

Friday and Saturday night games are different, because I don't work the next day, so I can just record the game and watch it the next morning. But for Sunday night and other weeknight games, there aren't too many sporting events I'm willing to stay up late to watch. Here's the list I came up with:
- The Super Bowl. Fortunately, the Super Bowl is usually over by 10 or 10:30, so this doesn't require staying up that much later.
- Deciding games of the Stanley Cup Final, depending on who's in it, and depending on how many overtimes there are. Stanley Cup Final games are over by 11 if they don't go to overtime, and that's not too unreasonable. If the Hurricanes are involved, and it's the Stanley Cup Final, I would probably stay up for as many overtimes as it takes.
- The college basketball national championship game, depending on who's in it. This usually goes until 11:30, which is pretty late, but at least it's just one game. But I won't stay up for other tournament games, even when my teams are involved. I did not stay up for last season's Florida State v. Cincinnati round-of-32 game, which started at around 10 PM on a Sunday night.
- For any other championship game (e.g. BCS championship, World Series), one of my favorite teams must be involved. BCS bowl games go way too late, often past midnight, which is just one of many reasons I've become disenfranchised with the bowl system over the years. So, I'm only staying up if Florida State or Penn State is involved, and that's only if it's the championship game. Any other bowl game? Nope.

And, that's it. That's the list. Notice that no regular season games are on that list, under pretty much any circumstances.

This is actually one reason I've been drawn to European soccer lately: since they're over in Europe, every single game is played while I'm awake. But in terms of American sports, football is still the most convenient sport for me to watch. Sure, they have a few weekend night games, but the vast majority of their games are still on weekend afternoons. (NASCAR, too.) The NBA is the least convenient, because they have a lot of West Coast teams, and their Finals games don't start until after 9 PM and are never on Friday or Saturday.

College football - Before you know it, college football season will be over, so let's talk BCS championship! In most seasons, when my teams are out of the hunt for the championship - in other words, every season since, oh, 2000? - I root for BCS chaos. Lots of undefeated teams, or perhaps one undefeated team plus lots of one-loss teams. Anything other than having exactly two undefeated teams from major conferences. The idea was that the more BCS chaos that we have, the more likely they will be to have to change the system.

Well, last season might have been the tipping point I've been looking for all these years, because an unfulfilling LSU/Alabama rematch in the BCS championship game - note that I'm not calling it a "national championship" - has already prompted the move to a four team playoff. So, any additional BCS chaos that we get this season isn't going to matter one way or another, because the BCS is already on its way out. With that in mind, I really don't know what to do. Do I root for Alabama to finish undefeated or not? Texas A&M at Alabama - Sat 3:30p, CBS

Speaking of chaos...the top two teams in the Big Ten division that has Ohio State and Penn State in it (whatever it's called) are, well, Ohio State and Penn State. And of course, neither team is eligible to play in the Big Ten championship, which means the division title will come down to Wisconsin, and...Indiana, of all teams. Go Hoosiers! Wisconsin at Indiana - Sat 12:00p, ESPN2

Oh, right, Penn State plays today, too. Playing "spoiler" in every single game gets old after a while, I guess, but it will be fun to see the team play in Lincoln. Penn State at Nebraska - Sat 3:30p, ESPN2

NFL - After last night, the Jaguars are already finished sucking for the weekend, freeing me up to watch other teams that I haven't seen much of yet. Such as...
Atlanta at New Orleans - Sun 1:00p, WRAZ. The Falcons are undefeated! And I don't think I've actually watched them play yet.
Denver at Carolina - Sun 1:00p, WRAL. Peyton Manning has had plenty of prime time games, but like I said in the open, I usually don't stay up for those.
Buffalo at New England - Sun 1:00p, NFL Sunday Ticket. Last chance for the Bills?
Detroit at Minnesota - Sun 1:00p, NFL Sunday Ticket. As soon as I commented on the Vikings and Christian Ponder, they started not playing so well. But hey, they're still 5-4! Important game here.

The main FOX late game features two overhyped 3-4 NFC East teams, which means it'll be a good time to switch over to...

Auto racing - Hey, look, Jimmie Johnson is two races away from winning another championship. It really is interesting to see how Johnson's team manages to consistently avoid the random part failures and wrecks and the like that almost everyone else in NASCAR has to deal with. (Except for last season.) How do they do it? NASCAR Sprint Cup at Phoenix - Sun 3:00p, ESPN

College basketball also starts today, but I'm not quite ready for it yet. Maybe next weekend.

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