I have spent the last week or two as a Husky Football fan following the recruiting process of high school stars. This process never ends, but each year culminates in the LOI day. Letter Of Intent signing day. Technically, athletes can sign any day after LOI day, but the first day has a carnival feel to it, and is much awaited by the growing internet fan base.
Nowadays, fans can get much more information, think about it, and write about it with other similarly interested fans and an education goes on elevating the discussion from the pre-internet sort which used to go on. I am a recently recruited internet fan. One of over 500 comments made on a thread on Husky recruiting from the Seattle Times Husky Football Blog.
Sark set up a camera panning the UW Football office's Fax machine, and over 700 people were viewing that awesome internet feed. 700 people stareing at a monitor showing an office and a fax machine! One could NOT read the faxes. So I am assuming much excitement was had when the fax machine began whirring and paper came out with fortune cookie expectations.
Twitter was being used for actual information announcements like "Kasen Williams confirmed." Other social networking sites for other schools were followed and reported on, and one such contribution got a rumor started that we were now on the list for the "Black Mamba" some guy defecting from U$C to Nike U (Zero University or Oregon U. are other aliases).
As the reader can see, this reporter has been converted from an objective observer to a homer journalist. In the past I would have said, "USC, and Oregon U...." but after reading 500 posts from the Husky faithful minus a few trolls from WSU and Oregon, I have been brainwashed into seeing both programs in a new light. Meaning, of course, as mortal enemies.
And speaking of enemies, how about that SEC conference? Wasn't I just rooting for the University of Quack against an SEC opponent for the national title?
This is a lot like fishing. While I have local opposition, competition, or enemies depending on a variety of emotional and environmental factors, but all of us locals are actually more in competition with non-locals. If the BIG SCHOOL OF KING SALMON decides to hang out up around Sitka, then those of us down around Noyes Island fight over the proverbial crumbs. I may catch more than my immediate neighbor, but the ones who are up around Sitka are catching many times more fish than any of us down around Noyes Island.
I guess the comparison is not enlightenment quality, but still I think I have made my point. I DO hate Oregon, USC, and all the rest of the football world, but I like our conference to get better together. The perception that Oregon and USC and UW are powerhouses actually helps each other recruit better athletes from out of the conference and to keep those from within from defecting.
Right now, the SEC sucks off of other parts of the country because of the perception, based upon strong evidence, that the SEC rules NCAA football. I think 8 or 9 teams from the SEC held places in the top 25 recruiting classes. Next best conference was the Pac 12 with 5 or 6. Then the ACC with 4 teams in the top 25.
Until people get tired of living in swamps filled with pollution from the industrial north, the SEC seems to have a decided edge on the rest of the world when it comes to high school talent for football. One other factor might be the education level of the west and east versus the south. I have heard professional athletes say that with what we now know about head injuries, he wouldn't want his child to play football. I suspect more and more parents with any education will be pushing their children to consider less violent sports to pursue. Tiger Woods is looking better and better all the time. Not only can you get as many women as you want playing a sport old men can play, you can make oodles of money without all of that pain. How many billionaire football players are there?
Well, that is about it for now....