Friday, December 04, 2009

Friday 12/04 Quickie: World Cup Draw, Florida vs. Alabama, Vick, VY, Oregon

I will surprise you this morning in today's SN column.

I'll bet you would bet that I would lead with Florida-Alabama. I don't. Because that's not the biggest sports topic of the day.

The biggest sports topic of the day -- sorry: of the year -- is the World Cup draw, at noon today.

Oh, it might not be a particularly big deal in America, but when you consider the worldwide interest, that number dwarfs our provincial interests like college football or even the NFL.

Here's how I sum it up in the column: Millions and millions of people will tune in for Florida-Alabama. It will be one of the most-watched CFB games of the decade.

Billions and billions of people care about the World Cup draw, essentially a guy reaching into a hat and picking out names.

More people care about that than any US sports event this year -- and it's arguable that more people care about the draw than if you total up the fans who cared about all major US sports events this year... combined.

Not that US sports fans care. But still.

Meanwhile, yes, I devote "lead-item"-type room to the Florida-Alabama game, which I argue is the most compelling regular-season college football match-up in modern college football history. (More on that later.)

More in the column:
*Vick back in the ATL: Kind of a let-down!
*VY vs. Peyton: Who's taking the Titans?
*Oregon going to the Rose Bowl: LeGarrette!
*Tim Donaghy is the NBA story of the weekend.
*Is UNC-Kentucky the best CBB game of the year?
*I create some closure on Tiger. Really.

All the columnists and sports pundits who decried the attention we put on Tiger this week -- ignoring it's what fans wanted to talk/hear/read about -- missed the other fundamental shift in the media landscape besides the easy "It's TMZ's fault!" talking point they all cling to:

Sports scandals -- even huge ones -- have a half-life roughly equivalent to the level of heat they get on a place like TMZ. Sure, Tiger was under the spotlight for a week. But you can already see it fizzling out. Was the episode really so bad, so undermining of sports media? Hardly.

Check out the complete column here. I'll have a post on Florida-Alabama a little later. I believe I have a post on the BCS' p.r. troubles that will be published simultaneously on Huffington Post. Don't forget to check out yesterday's bonus post on what Comcast-NBCU means for online sports (below). And, as usual, there's a barrage of posts over at

-- D.S.

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