Elliot: Ah, football. Ah, Americana. Ah, crickets.

Football season is upon us. All predictions of doom are false alarms. Or phony false alarms, if Bob Dylan is to be believed.


DI columnist Beau Elliot

Beau Elliot, Copy Editor

Wow. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday. That was enough college-football real-man whole 100 percent meat to harden your arteries just thinking about it. Idly. (As opposed to ideally.)

Which is pretty much all the thinking that takes place in football.

Oh, I know. There are great tactics in football. Coaches scrunching down into tablets or sheaves of printouts or the palms of their hands as if they possessed Rosetta stones translating victory.

Then they say, put this package in; we’ll see what sticks.

Basically, football (American-style) has come down to packages for this and packages for that and then more packages for more something else. Someday soon, Amazon is going to figure out how to get in on all that package action. If that’s what you call it.

Don’t get me wrong. (OK, get me wrong; so many species do. I think colloquially they’re known as ex-girlfriends.) I like football just fine (so long as we pay no attention to the men behind the curtain with the billions of dollars). I’ve been a Hawk fan since I was 7. It’s been fun.

(OK, not all of that was fun, in the ordinary, day-to-day definition of “fun.” The Bob Commings Era, for instance. That was more like an earache than an era. Except for the UCLA game. September 1974, Hawks upset the No. 12 Bruins, 21-10. It was a harbinger of things not to come with Commings.)

So, yeah, college football is fun. If you pay no attention to the men behind the curtain. And the scandals. And the package stores. And Alabama.

Actually, there’s nothing wrong with Alabama except that most of its games turn out like that Louisville contest the other night. Which was a contest in the sense that Cuchulainn wading into the sea to fight the tide with his sword was a contest. (Not to give the ending away, but the smart money was on the tide. As it is with college football.)

Some wags like to posit that Bama could beat the NFL’s Cleveland Browns, but that’s setting the bar far too low. I’m willing to bet that Bama could beat the Orioles. In a baseball game.

Some wags like to posit that Bama could beat the NFL’s Cleveland Browns, but that’s setting the bar far too low. I’m willing to bet that Bama could beat the Orioles. In a baseball game.

Of course, first we’d have to teach the Orioles how to play baseball.

Ah, baseball. That’s the major thing wrong with football: It’s not baseball. Never will be.

Oh, I know. Many people think baseball is boring. Many people also think cauliflower tastes like something, anything, besides boiled sawdust. I don’t have the metrics on me right now, but the eyeball test says only boring people think baseball is boring.

The other problem is college football inexorably leads to pro football, and the start of the NFL season inexorably leads to more penetrating arguments about the national anthem, which will, in the natural course of human events, plumb the depths of ludicrousity. (Not to make up a word or anything.)

So we’ll have more debates about patriotism and whether an old English drinking-society song has anything to do with it. Led, of course, by The Great Buffoon. (Speaking of boiled cauliflower.)

Naturally, he’s the perfect person to stand for patriotism. When patriotic push came to patriotism shove, he made sure to get five draft deferments during the Vietnam War. So, buckle up those seat belts, because a thrilling football season is heading our way. Maybe in December. First, we have to find the right package to decide who’s a patriot and who isn’t.

Smart money is on the Cheshire Cat.