Although people across the country are just now taking to the streets en masse, the general public has long railed against the status quo. For years, critics of the current system have claimed that the rules in place just make the rich even richer while holding down the rest of us. Folks have claimed that profit is routinely placed above fairness and that being a member of the aristocracy trumps the lip service we pay to this being a meritocracy. Time and again, it seems that even when the little guy does everything right that he'll still likely be passed over for a flawed but familiar brand name. We see graft rampant among the chummy network of rich white men pulling the switches and controlling the fates -- and finances -- of so many hard working people across the country. The masses clamor for change constantly, but nothing ever happens. We're consistently told everything is just fine, that this really is the best system.
But it can't be. And this is why the overlords of the Bowl Championship Series must allow for a college football playoff.
Oh, wait, you thought we were talking about Wall Street?
Well, all of the above applies to those fat cats as well. Actually, it really seems like a lot of the same issues -- although with decidedly different stakes. Bearing this in mind, perhaps it's not that much of a stretch for the Occupy Herbstreit Movement to have joined the Occupy Wall Street contingent in Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan.
Taking its name from former Ohio State quarterback Kirk Hirbstreit, who is currently an analyst for ESPN's roving College Gameday program, the movement has descended upon the Zuccotti Park with... SEC speed. Like any good protest group, Occupy Herbstreit has come armed with placards and slogans. Using a Tumblr account, Occupy Herbstreit has shared its football and finance mash-up signs with fans from Gainesville to Eugene, where Herbstreit and company are on Saturday for the Oregon Ducks' game against Arizona State.
WATCH SLIDESHOW BELOW TO SEE SIGNS
Started by a self-described "Lost College Football fan," the Occupy Herbstreit Movement found the common ground between protests and the weekly installments of College Gameday: witty signage. The website not only features pictures of movement members -- one frequently sporting a University of Texas t-shirt -- holding up their signs but it also includes a list of the movements 13 key demands. Among the goals are equal pay for all SEC quarterbacks, letting mascots unionize, and a requirement that Notre Dame's television contracts be contingent on the football team actually being good. While the list of demands won't quite make anyone forget the Port Huron Statement issued by the Students For a Democratic Society in 1962, it may secure equal access to nachos for all.
The goals of the Occupy Herbstreit Movement are modest -- some could even contend that they are flat-out insignificant -- compared with the loftier ideals at the heart of the Occupy Wall Street protests, but the Movement has shown just how important so many people take college football.
And who knows where this will lead? The Herbstreiters have made it known that they will take their show on the road. Perhaps this will grow just like the Occupy Wall Street protest. When several hundred people first ventured down to Wall Street on September 17th at the behest of several groups, including AdBusters, who were promoting the event few could have fathomed the staying power and the influence of the protest. The second comment on the initial ABC News' article about the gathering read, "non event." Suffice it to say, that commenter, with the handle ZEDS, didn't quite have this one figured out.
Could this lost football fan be the canary in the NCAA coal mine? Or, is this just some hilarious photobombing of an otherwise serious event that should be enjoyed and dismissed?
Got any good slogans you'd like to suggest to Occupy Herbstreit? If so, leave them in the comments section.