As a story in Monday’s paper notes, Georgia Southern will add women’s rifle-shooting to its list of women’s sports in order to be Title IX compliant when it moves up to the Football Bowl Subdivision.
That’s great and all, mostly because it will give sharp-shooting young ladies an opportunity to further their educations, but also because it gives me another chance to complain about GSU moving to FBS.
In other words, Georgia Southern belongs in the FBS like I belong at the Wall Street Journal or on Fox News. In other other words, I don’t — and neither does GSU.
There’s been a lot of chest thumping and self-congratulation going on in regard to the move, especially on the privately run website www.gsufans.com, once a great site but lately dominated by know-it-all 20-somethings prone to blathering.
There, the 30 or so folks who’ve complained for years about GSU’s big-fish-in-the-small-FBS pond status are gloating over the move to the Sun Belt Conference as if it’s the beginning of a rapid ascent to the top of the college football food chain.
Reality begs to differ.
Whether or not the Eagles, who are my second-favorite college football team behind South Carolina, can find consistent success at FBS is yet to be determined, but that’s not the problem.
The problem is fan support, which equals money, which equals better facilities and better-paid coaches, which equals better-paid athletes — that might have been a Freudian slip, but I’m going to leave it in there — and so on ad infinitum, ad nauseam. Bigger is better only when you can afford bigger. If you can’t, well, the bills might eat you alive.
At any rate, some 3,700 souls showed up at Georgia Southern’s spring game on Saturday – a crowd that may have been inflated with people who wanted to get in the movie being made about Erk. By contrast, more than 45,000 attended Georgia’s spring game.
Ah well. It’s a dead horse but some of us continue to want to beat it.
Onward: Speaking of the movie “Erk,” does anyone have any idea who’s going to play role of Erk Russell, the greatest college football coach of all time and one who is not in the College Football Hall of Fame but deserves to be?
Me. I can’t imagine anyone being Erk but Erk.
Blistering Braves: As of Monday, two more wins and the Atlanta Braves will be 13-1 and tie their best start since 1994. I’m not sure that’s a good thing. The Braves finished in second place in the National League East in 1994, six games behind Montreal in a season cut short by the players’ strike.
The legend: Monday, Major League Baseball celebrated Jackie Robinson Day. It’s a good thing. I can’t imagine the pressure the man went through, but thanks to the internet, I can get a sense of history by looking at what others in baseball said about Robinson.
• “Jackie Robinson is the loneliest man I have ever seen in sports.” — sportswriter Jimmy Cannon
•“After the game, Jackie Robinson came into our clubhouse and shook my hand. He said, ‘You’re a helluva ballplayer, and you’ve got a great future.’ I thought that was a classy gesture, one I wasn’t then capable of making. I was a bad loser. What meant even more was what Jackie told the press, ‘ Mantle beat us. He was the difference between the two teams. They didn’t miss DiMaggio .’ I have to admit, I became a Jackie Robinson fan on the spot. And when I think of that World Series, his gesture is what comes to mind. Here was a player who had without doubt suffered more abuse and more taunts and more hatred than any player in the history of the game. And he had made a special effort to compliment and encourage a young white kid from Oklahoma.” — Mickey Mantle
• “If I were in Jackie Robinson’s shoes, I probably never would have made it.” — Bob Gibson
And here are a few attributed to Jackie:
• “Life is not a spectator sport. If you’re going to spend your whole life in the grandstand just watching what goes on, in my opinion you’re wasting your life.”
• “It kills me to lose. If I’m a troublemaker, and I don’t think that my temper makes me one, then it’s because I can’t stand losing. That’s the way I am about winning, all I ever wanted to do was finish first.”
• “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”
All I know is Robinson is one of the four or five most important sports figures in the history of our country, and maybe the world.
Finally, a moment of silence for those killed Monday and prayers for those wounded in the explosions at the Boston Marathon. It makes no sense.