It happened late Wednesday night. I was sitting on my couch like the lazy son of a bitch I am, partaking in the greatest American sport.
That's right, I was watching MTV's The Challenge.
While I could probably write a couple thousand words on The Challenge every week, because it's amazing, that's not what I'm here to discuss. No, I'm here to talk about a tweet that showed up in my timeline from writer Jeff Pearlman.
Can't think of worse sports media job than covering college football. Arrogant coaches, NCAA nonsense, 19-yr-old kids treated as God. No way— jeffpearlman (@jeffpearlman) July 25, 2013
Now, at first my reaction was to be a little insulted. I cover college football for a living and my response was to defend myself. Which, really, was a stupid reaction. Pearlman wasn't insulting me or college football writers as much as he was taking a shot at the sport itself, so there was no real reason to take offense to that.
My next thought was this.
.@jeffpearlman Just wondering, is there a sport without arrogant coaches, questionable leadership and players treated as gods?— Tom Fornelli (@TomFornelli) July 25, 2013
Right? What sport doesn't have that kind of shit to deal with on a regular basis.
But then I thought about it more, and the more I thought the more I realized Pearlman was way off base. Though not for the reasons you might think.
No, what I realized is that covering college football is the best job in sports media for all the reasons Pearlman listed.
I mean, think about it. The college football season lasts from September to about mid-January, and even then teams only play one game a week. So in just over a an 18-week span, there might be around 35 to 40 days in which an actual game is played. And then there's the other eight months of the year in which no games are played.
In other words, you find yourself with a lot of dead time to fill as a college football writer.
And that's where all those things Pearlman listed as negatives become positive.
Think about it, those arrogant coaches and the NCAA give a writer a shit ton of material to work with. I mean, honestly, the NCAA is a never-ending source of material in and of itself. One that provides more fodder than most writers even know what to do with.
While the NCAA may be a curse to those 19-year old gods Pearlman refers to, it's a blessing to those of us who cover the sport.
And, sure, the coaches can be arrogant assholes, but you know what? Many of those sportswriters covering them are arrogant assholes as well. I include myself in that group because I've never been wrong about a single fucking thing except that one time, and I was even half-right that one time so fuck you for saying I wasn't.
So don't listen to Jeff Pearlman, college football. You keep doing you, and we'll keep covering the ridiculous aspects of your sport the same way we do the games themselves.