Really. I wrote a newspaper piece about football (the pointyball kind). The backstory is the recent departure of a chap named Mike Locksley, who had a less than successful record coaching the University of New Mexico’s football team. I took to the front page of the morning paper to be what is almost certainly his only defender:
Here’s the problem. If I or anyone else were to suggest ending our beloved cultural ritual of fall football, we’d be laughed off the front page of the newspaper. (I know, there’s a good chance a lot of you will have that reaction to this column.) As Clotfelter has written, “Tailgating rituals, painted faces, and screaming fans are part of American higher education as surely as physics labs and seminars on Milton.”
Therein lies the genius of Mike Locksley’s tenure. We need to have football, so I have someplace to eat Miguel’s brats. We just need to help our students’ academic performance by mostly losing.