14 September 2002
Picking favorites in the Baghdad Bowl
College football, writes Patrick Ruffini, testifies to the strength of American society:
"The fact that we've built massive stadiums in the middle of nowhere for something that's not a professional sport says something about America's sense of proportion and scale. College football isn't something we need to have, strictly speaking...and yet we've build this scaffolding of civil society around it that's stronger than it is with any other professional sport. To me, this is the mark of a uniquely strong society."
Anyone who's ever been stuck in a traffic jam in Norman, Oklahoma on game day might argue that we need a bit more proportion and/or scale, but Mr Ruffini's point is clear: if we have the resources to spare to pour into what is, by and large, a trivial pursuit, well, just imagine what we can do with truly important tasks. For example:
"We're going to kick your ass, Saddam. We're going to take Baghdad, and with fewer than 100 casualties."
There's your morning line. The only real question is by how much we will beat the spread.