The Fulmer Cup 2008...now with theme song! God bless Garage Band loops.
The Fulmer Cup enters its third year of existence as college football's premiere offseason time-waster and the only established measure of which teams really do have the least well-behaved student-athletes in the sport of football. In case you aren't familiar with the system, we'll recap the rules and even show you an example of the scoring, since the University of Tennessee--appropriately enough--gave us an example this weekend to open the scoring for this year.
Points are awarded for player arrests. These have to be current football players and verified charges, so if Uncle Jimboridicus calls and tells you that he swears he saw someone being stuffed into the back of a squad car...no dice unless we've got a wire report or an arrest record. Also, if it's a graduated player, or someone who's already declared for the draft...no go there, either. Coaches can count, but relatives of players do not.
The rules for scoring are as follows, but are not limited to:
* Murder: 5 points.
* Rape: 4 points. Downgraded to one if either participant is wearing a clown mask.
* Bestiality: 4 points. It's a form of rape, really, no matter how much the goat has had to drink. High point value justified further by the fact that it involves having sex with an animal. You could say this was unthinkable, but in the past year alone two stories involving college athletes and at least the association with barnyard bonhomie of a most intimate degree have been reported, including the EDSBS Official GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD: the arrest of Oregon State player Ben Siegert for stealing a sheep used in a study on homosexuality in sheep.
* Grand Larceny: 4 points. We use this as a catchall for players being involved in crime so outrageous and well-planned it can only be described as 'nefarious,' 'professional,' or 'legislation.' Applies to large drug rings, chop shop operations, and the Haitian human trafficking ring that's been run out of the Miami locker room since '93. (We kid! They didn't get that thing humming 'til '95 at the earliest.)
* Hitting Girls: 3 points. We'll downgrade this to 2 if the girl can hold her weight and requires daily medication to prevent her from gouging her own eyes out (since those were the ones we always ended up dating, and we understand); or we'll upgrade to 4 points if the damage includes intensive care. Dad always said never hit girls, so we take this one seriously. Dad also said always double down with split aces, too, but we'll be damned if we didn't end up selling bone marrow in Macau the last time we followed that bit of advice.
* Car theft/Assault/Driving through houses drunk/Drug possession of the Tyrone Biggums variety: 3 points. "Drug possession" never sounds all that bad until you add in 'crack cocaine,' which is society's signifier that your life has gone from that of high functioning simian in a complex society to that of a rat with electrodes in your brain's pleasure centers hitting a pedal in a glass box in a lab. Weed? Par for the course, especially if you're NFL-bound. Crack? Break out the Sports Century 'Weepy Sonata' music, because the story of your descent from boundless potential has just begun, and they haven't even begun to show the grainy shots of 130-lb you huddled in a shelter on Skid Row.
* Fightin' in 'da Club/Weed Possession/Standard DUI: 2 points. Any scenario involving group fighting of a thugged-out, 'we run this place' variety, and marijuana possession of the nickel bag level. Possession of 100 pounds of marijuana is a totally different thing, and takes you right back up to the 4 point 'nefarious' level.
* Drankin'/Suspended License/Assorted petty misdemeanors: 1 point.
There is a fair amount of wiggle room here, especially given the degree of the crime and the zest with which is was committed. For example: there's DUI, and what we'll call Estonian DUI. Some poor kid who had one too many beers gets pulled over with a .09 BAC? That's standard DUI. Some coach gets pulled over, say on a desert lane somewhere in Arizona, for instance, with a .45 BAC and a can of ether? This calls for bonus points, an award determined both by reader input and by Queen of Hearts Rules. (Orson is the Queen of Hearts here, and if he says off with its head, then it's off with the head.)
The updated scoreboard will be maintained again by Brian "Hung Like Reggie F'n Nelson", who will get an even cooler nickname this season if he keeps it up. Scoring is maintained in detail in the archives here, but somewhat more conveniently talled by our close personal friends at SAS Wiki at their indispensable Fulmer Cup page.
The Ellis T. Jones III award, neglected last season, will make a return to the scene this year. The ETJ3 is given to the player who makes such an astounding individual achievement he cannot fairly be considered to be part of the team. This is designed to offset not only the impact of one bad egg on a whole team, but also to recognize outstanding effort on the part of the individual. Think of it as the Davey O'Brien Award, but for stealing car stereos instead of passing.
Now, for an example: Tennessee wide receivers Gerald Jones and Ahmad Paige were showing some recruits around this weekend. Light stuff, really: a nice cruise in the ride, a few joints firing away in the ashtray, and the one excuse a cop needs: a busted tag light. Paige granted police permission to search the car, they did, and now we know what explains Tennessee's blunted deep passing game this year: two possession charges, one for Paige and one for Jones, and the first points of the new season go to the Cup's namesake, the University of Tennessee.
2 points each for possession, meaning a total of 4 for Tennessee. You count them each, and considering the piddly amounts involved, you're not talking Tyrone Biggums/Nate Newton levels here.
Let the race begin! When the fat man says it's time to dance, it's time...to dance!
Also check out Miami Hawk Talk's preseason rankings. They're bullish on Arizona State, and why not?