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My philosopher friend Jared Levine, who holds a Ph.D. in Las Vegas Psychology, came up with an interesting gem of analysis last Saturday when he said, "I'm only going to watch the last quarter of the Ohio State-Michigan game because it bores me to see two teams play for three periods and only score about ten points between them."
Strange as it may seem, this attitude, amidst all the hooplah that preceeded the Saturday classic, was the correct one to have.
And moreover, Dr. Levine's bit of wisdom not only seemed to hold true for the three-quarter status quo of the Buckeye-Wolverine skirmish, but the entire college football season to date. And for that matter, the N.F.L. too.
Texas has to beat Texas A&M (41-3 losers to Michigan a month ago) and Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl to be crowned National Collegiate Champion. The Longhorns have played methodically superb ball all season long, despite not being in anyone's Top Twenty at the beginning of the season. They should take both games easily--the first because the Aggies never win a big game, the second because there is no such thing as an exciting Cotton Bowl. Not a whole lot of tension there.
And as for Pete Rozelle's School of Modern Dance, any idiot could pick the eight N.F.L. teams which will make the playoffs right now, blindfolded, even though there are still four games left to play. Denver, Oakland, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore in the A.F.C.; Dallas, St. Louis, Los Angeles, and Minnesota in the N.F.C. It's just that thrilling.
No wonder everyone around here is talking about George Hughes' haircut, Glenn Fine's shoe size, Cornbread Maxwell's playing time, and the fact that the new swimming pool hasn't been completed yet. Both pro and college football seasons, save for the running of the Bears' Walter Payton and Woody Hayes' punching out of a television camera, have been nothing short of boring.
And you know you're bored with football when...
You study during Monday Night Football so you can watch 20-year old reruns of "The Honeymooners" later on.
You're in a state of total depression when a team like Colgate, who Harvard could have beaten on a good day, loses its first game of the year.
You look forward to seeing your relatives on Thanksgiving (especially the 12-year old hyperactive cousin) instead of watching the Lions-Bears game.
You travel back to Cambridge from your Thanksgiving vacation on Sunday instead of the Traditional Class Cut Monday.
You start to think that Phyllis George is unattractive and just a sexist network ploy.
The only college football game you watch is the excruciating Army-Navy clash, and only because you think you owe it to our boys in the service.
You start to get bitter, and hope that Joe Namath hurts his knee again.
You no longer find Howard Cosell an insult to your intelligence.
You're actually psyched to walk up four flights of stairs and watch a Harvard basketball game in the rinky-dink Indoor Athletic Building.
You go out and get sauced till you die on New Year's Eve instead of tuning in for the Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl.
You don't even bother to fix the vertical hold during the fourth quarter of a tied ballgame.
Your family pool during Thanksgiving Day is not on the closest score of the game, but on the closest approximate time that the Bullwinkle balloon will appear at the Macy's Parade.
Pardon me while I go to Watson Rink and wait for tonight's face-off.
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