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THE NECESSITY OF LOCAL POLITICS AND THE BCS

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A brief note on mental sanity. It is a truth universally accepted that if you worry about shit you cannot control, very soon you will lose your own shit completely and utterly. David Foster Wallace wrote books on infinity and the very essence of humanity's need for entertainment. He hanged himself this year. Pascal, himself a mostly miserable person obsessed with probability and the infinite, was another neurotic depressive prone to writing things like this when he pulled back his mental boom camera for a glimpse at the big picture.

The eternal silence of these infinite spaces fills me with dread.

A hell of an IM partner would be Blaise Pascal. He was happiest and healthiest during the period in his very short life when he was gambling and hanging out with his friends. Let this be a historical rebuke to any and all critiques of how you spend your free time: if your loved ones want you around longer, they will let you spend time away from them doing foolish things.


Remember kids: I was happiest when gambling and drinking. You're not alone.

Foolish things in this case do not include the BCS. You may be, for one reason or another, completely and totally outraged right now over the BCS, and Oklahoma being ranked over Texas, or over the idea that Texas could be ranked higher than OU if the computers and damned voters didn't bitch the whole thing up, or even of the hypothetical that Florida could end up outside of the national title picture altogether.

All of this makes for lovely static, but it will drive you mad as a fan, and obscure the small things your team can control and that you, by proxy, can enjoy without angst.

Take your average Texas Tech fan this, year, who in the midst of all this hoopla may say silent thanks for watching the beastly Michael Crabtree and Graham Harrell lead the Red Raiders to the best season in the history of their program and a historic win over Texas. Or the average USC fan, who if they caught up in the silence of infinite spaces will miss the final performances of the Trojans' most malicious defense of the Pete Carroll era. See the Penn State fan, who for all the agonizing over Joe Paterno's eventual demise may look at their second Big Ten co-title of the century and first win over Ohio State in Columbus with deserved, puff-chested pride.

The BCS, like most things involving a lot of people and money, is an inhuman beast with no mind of its own that may or may not pick your team despite your team doing everything asked of it and more. A simple reason exists for this: there is no such thing as a national champion, but rather the eventual winner of an especially monied exhibition game staged at the end of every regular season. It's nice, but it's not as tangible or logically decided as a conference championship, and it's not in your control at all.

So here's to saving your sanity by being really, really into local politics, and valuing your friendly local conference championship. It's definite, it means something, and it's not partially determined by guys who don't know that Penn State has one loss. Also relevant: gambling and carousing prolongs your life. Lesson concluded, go focus on the things you and you alone are responsible for fucking up all by your talented little self.