Imagine a world in which all undergraduates must join a college football team. That is what some activists warn will happen if Congress continues what these activists describe as an assault on the Bowl Championship Series (BCS).
On December 9, a House subcommittee approved the College Football Playoff Act of 2009, which aims to compel the sport to switch to a playoff system to decide its national champion.
But at a town-gown hall meeting a few days later in Charlotte, NC, home of the Meineke Car Care Bowl, defenders of the BCS system disrupted the proceedings, shouting that the proposed bill would take away their right to root for the team of their choice.
Within a week, "T-formation parties" were being held in college towns across the country. Speakers warned that the proposed bill would include features such as:
Universal rosters - All college students would be required to join a college football team.
Public option - The federal government would be allowed to field its own team in the college football playoffs.
Sudden-death panels - If a playoff game is tied at the end of regulation, a group of government officials would determine the winner.
Sympathetic newspapers began to run stories about Canadian Football League players who wanted to play in the U.S. because America "has the best football in the world." They found Canadian fans who claimed that they had to endure long delays for replay booth reviews, procedures that American fans take for granted.
Some BCS defenders warned that the playoff system would be paid for by a tax on tailgating. Others claimed that mascot costumes would be regulated under a "one-size-fits-all" policy.
As the movement has spread, T-formation partiers have wrapped themselves in the traditions of old-style football, donning leather helmets and calling themselves "two-way players," paying homage to a time when football players never left the field, but played both offense and defense.
But opponents and late-night comics have started referring to them as alarmists who played football without real helmets and who "go both ways."
As of now, the bill appears to have little chance of becoming law, so the distraught protester who vowed that "they will take the AdvoCare V100 Bowl from my cold, dead hands" can rest easy, at least for the time being.
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