Chide Nick Saban for his humdrum lunch, or for an affect flatter than the middle of a paper plate, but respect the man for process. Yes, The Process, his process.
The Process is about the next drill, the next practice, not the entirety of a goal. Take care of The Process and The Process yields results. Avoid clutter. Recognize that the process and all of its components will one day be cobbled together to form tomorrow’s version of “The Pyramid of Success.”
In the gut-wrenching, soul-searching, spine-tingling investigation to find that ideal team, The Process must fit within the parameters of the investigation. Saban meets Sipowicz. Parameters mean stability and order, big desks, and official titles of self-importance. All are critical in such a search.
Hours in front of crime dramas teaches one how to conduct an investigation, solve a case, and an everyday devotion to the job. Hours in front of Nick Saban’s image on a television screen creates unfulfilled hopes of a loss for Roll Tide, along with the repetitive stated importance of The Process. Both matter. Process and parameters mean everything in my attempt to settle down with the right college football team. Day by day, moment by moment with search criteria firmly in place. For a team to even have a chance to earn my support, the program needs to meet the following qualifications:
Time Zone: I admire Stanford’s devotion to defense and its pro-style offense. Who doesn’t want to bedazzle a football uniform as much as the next Nike employee devoted to the Oregon account? For all the joy the Pac 12 brings to college football, their games are a hassle to watch in the Central Standard Time Zone. Good chance that any late-night Saturday football game will be soaked in a few drinks at an undisclosed location with a liquor license and my attention won’t be fully devoted to the game. West coast teams are out.
Conference: Even though the MAC, Sun Belt, Mountain West, American Athletic, and Conference USA gave me my start as an offensive or defensive coordinator in one of the installations of NCAA Football, those positions were accepted for the chance of being offered a better job down the road. I want to watch a team from a conference with a legitimate chance of playing in the National Championship Tournament on a regular basis. May God bless the New Mexico Lobos, but may it be someone else’s God, on someone else’s television. Not interested.
Side note: anyone who names themselves head football coach at the University of Texas in a videogame, or even a coordinator at a major Division 1 program right off the bat does not understand the values and gifts that come from hard work. Or, their dad’s name is Monte Kiffin.
Proximity of Fan Base: Stay around one team’s fans for any duration of time and you’ll find yourself rooting against that team. It’s not your fault. The idiocy of their collective ideas gets under your skin. You want to be the undercover Auburn fan in the Houndstooth Saloon when Chris Davis returns a missed field goal 108 yards for a touchdown.
The closer the location between the school and where you live, the greater chance for being around people with the same rooting interests. Do you like all the people who live on your block? Even the couple with the four kids, three motorcycles, and two dogs with a high fiber diet who consider your lawn their lawn? Didn’t think so. It’s the same when you go into a team bar for a team you like. The enthusiasm and passion — overshadowed by a grandstanding and willingness to cheer over everyone else in the place — of the most obnoxious person in the bar trumps your own vested interests and you want your team to lose. Their misery is more valuable to you than your own joy.
Recent Success: Any team who won a BCS Championship within the past ten years is out. That limits the options in the SEC, but why not take the time to buy futures in a team? Allow for a little counter-culture and like the team of tomorrow.
Articles in the School’s Official Title: No “The” will ever be a part of “The” official title of any team I support. Sorry Brutus, you’ll have to ask Jack to dot “The” “I” again.