COMMENTARY

Dear Mr. Prez-elect

November 6, 2008 

As you know, President-elect Obama has to get right to work building his cabinet and team of other advisers. We also know that Obama is a huge sports fan. Did you catch Chris Berman's interviews with the two presidential candidates on Monday Night Football? He asked both candidates what one change would they like to see in sports.

John McCain said he wanted to get rid of steroids in sports. Good answer. Very noble.

But Obama's answer? Institute a playoff system for college football.

Here, here!

Lots of critical issues face the sports world. So many that it's time we added cabinet position for sports. At the very least, a sports adviser.

While the conservative in me is for smaller government, I also can make a case for the trickle-down theory. Besides, I'll work cheap. Say, the price of one of Sarah Palin's outfits. OK, so that's not so cheap. Maybe the cost of an overhead projector. And I'll work from home, so that will save on office space.

Therefore, consider this my formal application:

Dear Mr. President-elect,

First of all, congratulations on your resounding victory. Honesty compels me to say that I voted for McCain. But you're soon to be my president, so you will have my complete and loyal support. I really admired how gracious you were in victory. I thought it was especially classy that you didn't use your last two timeouts before piling on those last electoral votes.

Oh, I guess I failed to mention that I'm applying for a job. Guess it slipped my mind. Anyway, I'm glad to know that you are an avid sports fan. It's time to create a cabinet position for sports. And you were exactly right. It's time we had a college football playoff. So here's my plan. Forget that plus-one stuff. If we're going to have a playoff, let's do this thing right.

First, eliminate the conference tie-ins. If any team wants to play for the national championship, let them earn their ticket.

Next, take the four winners of the BCS bowl games — Fiesta, Rose, Sugar and Orange. That will set up three more games — two semifinals and one championship game. Play those three games at the stadiums of the aforementioned Big Four. That's a huge windfall for those bowl cities.

Let's take the Sugar Bowl for example. Under the current plan, New Orleans gets the championship game every fourth year on top of its regular bowl game. Under my plan, New Orleans would get an extra game three out of four years and lose nothing.

That means eight teams will have a shot at playing for the national championship. A real national championship. It still puts a premium on the regular season without being more exclusive than Augusta National Golf Club.

I'd further mandate that those Big Four bowl games would be played by New Year's Day — or Jan. 2, if New Year's falls on a Sunday. The semifinals and championship game would be played no later than mid-January.

I know, I know. The school presidents will object. We have to get them on board to make this happen. Ask them if they'd rather have a tuition tax.

Now, about steroids. Baseball already has made significant progress: No one will sign Barry Bonds.

Respectfully, Guerry Clegg

Guerry Clegg is a sports columnist for the Ledger-Enquirer. He can be contacted at gclegg@ledger-enquirer.com

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