Congress basically ‘punting’ its prioritiesPublished 12:00am Sunday, December 25, 2011
Our nation’s deficit continues to hit record highs. Unemployment rates and under-employment rates hover at or near double digits. Providing affordable health care to every American remains an elusive pipe dream. Our country is flooded with illegal immigrants who are willing to work for pennies on the dollar, while there are virtually no incentives for American companies to keep their jobs here at home.
Yet, our elected representatives in Congress may not have time to tackle any of these crucial social issues because they must focus their efforts on a societal flaw that apparently threatens to destroy the entire fabric of our culture — the lack of a college football playoff system.
With all these challenges facing our nation a few genius lawmakers have decided we need to spend our time and tax dollars on determining how football games should be played and who gets to call themselves king of the land.
Two congressmen have formed the Congressional Collegiate Sports Caucus. The elected officials, Texas Republican Joe Barton and Tennessee Democrat Steve Cohen, are reintroducing a bill that would force college football to utilize a playoff system instead of the current bowl-game structure.
The bill would ban — calling it unfair and deceptive — the promotion of any postseason Division I football game as a national championship unless that game is the result of some form of playoff.
A newly formed lobbying campaign, “We Want a Playoff Now,” will do its part to grease the wheels — or the palms — of other elected representatives who are happy to shirk their real responsibilities too.
Representative Square should be embarrassed and their constituents should be outraged. This is a ludicrous waste of time and energy and seems to basically be avoiding the real problems facing our nation.
Don’t get me wrong college football in the bowl championship series, commonly called the BCS, is absolutely broken.
College football and school officials are happy to keep burying their heads in the sand while filling their programs with money through a system that favors the big programs and conferences.
The only reason to fight against the status quo is because changes will potentially open the door for the Boise States and Houstons of college football to play in the biggest games, something that rarely happens now.
Rooting for your team and wanting to see college football played on a level playing field is fine, but Congress needs to remember what team they are playing for and that points are scored by making the American people’s lives better.
Michael Caldwell is publisher of The Tribune. To reach him, call (740) 532-1445 ext. 24 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.