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Watching football instead of the world

You know, it is really great news to know that some of our national leaders have everything so well in hand that they can focus on the really important things like … who plays who in college football.

I’m really impressed that our leadership in the U.S. Congress has solved all of our nation’s other problems so that they are left with time to look at these issues.

Oh wait, you mean they really haven’t solved any of our other problems?

That’s right. The economy is still struggling. Unemployment is still far higher than it should be. We are still mired in two essentially unwinnable wars. Health care reform isn’t much closer to happening and the “cure” may be even worse than the “disease.”

But, all that is OK. Apparently one of the most crucial challenges facing our country is which teams play for a national championship.

At least that is what some representatives think, continuing a recent trend of getting involved in professional sports leagues and college athletics.

Rep. Joe Barton of Texas sponsored a bill that would ban the promotion of a postseason NCAA Division I football game as a national championship unless that title contest is the result of a playoff. The proposal was passed in a House Energy and Commerce Committee subcommittee last week. Who knows where it will go now.

The problem is that even a few minutes of our representatives’ time spent on this is an absolute waste with so many other pressing issues facing the nation.

Don’t get me wrong, the Bowl Championship Series — which gives automatic berths to the ACC, Big East, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-10 and SEC — is undeniably flawed and should be scrapped.

The current bowl system features a championship game between the two top teams in the BCS standings, based on two polls and six computer rankings. Eight other schools get the Orange, Sugar, Fiesta and Rose bowls.

The problems arise in years like this one. Undefeated teams Alabama and Texas will play for what is called a national championship.

Sounds fair, right? Not so fast. Ask someone from TCU, Boise State or Cincinnati. All three are undefeated as well but won’t get a shot at a title. Boise and TCU are lucky that they got into the BCS picture at all.

College football needs a playoff — and the country needs it now. Fans need to put pressure on these big conferences

But we need jobs, a healthy economy, a strong immigration plan, health care for all Americans and a host of other things all much worse.

Congress needs to focus on these issues and work for real solutions. But, once they get them all tackled, I have some other items along the same lines as the BCS that they can spend their time on.

Here are a few:

Why do we park on a driveway and drive on a parkway? Can one of these politicians explain this to me?

 Why do dog owners allow their dogs to do their business in other people’s yards? If I wanted dog doo doo I’d own a dog. Sounds like something a little tough legislation would cure.

Can we redesign pop cans so that we can more easily get the last drop. Surely, a little Congressional pressure will have the soda flowing smoothly.

 What about telemarketers or bill collectors that call you, only to then put you on hold. Can we get an investigation into this? I want to see some Congressional muscle.

That should be a good start. As a concerned citizen, I’m just trying to do my part to help our elected officials who are apparently looking for more of the world’s problems to solve.

I’m sure these will be all knocked out in time to watch the championship game, regardless of who plays in it.

Michael Caldwell is publisher of The Tribune. To reach him, call (740) 532-1445 ext. 24 or by e-mail at mike.caldwell@irontontribune.com.