Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Le Mars Daily Sentinel
Ah, the BCS "National Championship" game.
We likely will never know how long Brent Musburger has been waiting to proclaim a game-winning field goal "For all the Tostitos." Nor will we likely ever know what "behind the scenes" work the ever-absent Cecil Newton did on son Cam's behalf. (Actually, we will probably learn the truth a decade from now, after Newton has won a Super Bowl and Gene Chizik has fled for greener pastures, in, say, Buffalo).
Suffice to say, there was enough sleaze surrounding Monday's spectacle in Glendale to have us longing for that fair-skinned ginger from TCU to once again grace a BCS stage.
But since we can't know everything, let's go with what we do know.
We do know that as a backup quarterback at the University of Florida in 2008, Cam Newton was arrested when found in possession of a stolen laptop, which he may or may not have thrown out his dorm room window when police came looking for it. There were also allegations that Newton was caught cheating several times while at Florida and was facing expulsion in 2009, when he decided to transfer to Blinn College, a junior college deep in the heart of Texas.
We do know that Cecil shopped Cam to the highest bidder, though the NCAA decided Cam didn't know anything about it and allowed him to play.
And we know that Gene Chizik bailed two years into a rebuilding project in Ames, jilting Iowa State with a sterling 5-19 record in two seasons at the helm.
That's not to say Oregon is not without its flaws. We know the Ducks have benefited greatly from the involvement of alum and mega-donor Phil Knight, the co-founder of Nike. And there are obviously character blemishes within the Oregon program.
There is the infamous LeGarrett Blount punch. Former QB Jeremiah Masoli was dismissed from the team after pleading guilty to burglary and misdemeanor drug charges. Even Heisman finalist LaMichael James was arrested on domestic violence charges last February.
Two shady programs squaring off in the desert. In some ways, it left us wishing both teams could lose, though not to the extent that the Iron Bowl did.
But most importantly, we know that God seems to care an inordinate amount about who wins championships in NFL and college football - America's answer to the Roman Coliseum.
First there was Chizik: "I just can't be more blessed to part of a whole team like this," he crowed. "God was with us, our defense was outstanding..."
Good for your defense, Gene. If that's your barometer for God being with you, I'm not all that impressed with His performance.
And God doesn't follow a subpar performance by taking the easy way out like you did in Ames.
Then golden boy Cam, with the million-watt smile, stepped up to the microphone.
To be fair, Tom Rinaldi set the question up on a tee and Cam really couldn't say anything else.
"You have had so much adversity," Rinaldi said. "This team has come from behind, you personally, you fought through, you have maintained your focus throughout. How would you describe your own journey?"
To which Cam responded, "It's just a God thing. I thank God every single day. I'm just His instrument. He's using me on a consistent basis daily...He's using me to extend His word and I'm a prime example of how God can turn something that was bad into something that was very great."
Is self-induced "adversity" a God thing? Is it even "adversity" at all, or just a string of poor choices?
By the end, the rhetoric made me want to puke. It's tough to listen to a guy who bailed for an easier path after two seasons of "adversity" or a guy who stole and cheated before battling equally contrived "adversity" on his way to the top of the "amateur" football world.
Even if Chizik and Newton are sincere, they are sincerely deluded if they think God was with them, any more or less than He was with Tim Tebow in the 2009 SEC title game or Kurt Warner in the 2009 Super Bowl.
If God actually cared, wouldn't He want Texas CHRISTIAN University to win the national title?