Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Dear Reader

Forgive me for I have sinned. Yes, it's been a while since I last wrote on my blog and in the blogosphere, as it is called, it is a serious crime to go two months between posts, dear reader.

I shall attempt to make amends over the next few weeks and try to fill you in on my life and America over the last two months. Imagine, if you will, that I have been in a coma and during that time I have had my eyes opped daily by a nurse who has kindly turned Fox News on for one hour, and in this hour, as if by osmosis, I have gauged the pulse of America!

When I last wrote I had just returned to America through the magic of Qantas airlines.

I want, however, to begin in the present and, perhaps, retrospect my way through September.

As I currently write the Alabama Crimson Tide (the football team) remain unbeaten and ranked #2 in the nation. Since there are so many teams (like 120) in the top division and these teams, in turn, are divided into conferences anywhere from 13 to 8 teams, there is no way of creating a proper knockout tournament to decide the best team in college football. Thus, after each week's games the teams are ranked, and constantly re-ranked, until the top two teams play off in what is called the BCS National Championship Game.

If you play in a good conference against good opponents and win, then it's easier to get a higher ranking. Alabama plays in the SEC (Southeastern Conference) which is arguably the toughest football conference in the U.S. If Alabama wins all their games this season they will certainly be ranked #1 or #2 and play in the national championship game.

However, it is unlikely Alabama will go undefeated. So far they have exceeded expectations and beat then-9 ranked Clemson (from South Carolina) and then-3 ranked Georgia. As a result we climbed in the polls to #2.

This is pretty huge. Alabama has a tradition of winning (they have 12 national championships) but have pretty-much sucked since I've been here in the U.S. They've had a couple of good seasons here and there, but they've lost to in-state rivals Auburn 6 years in a row, and they've sucked against LSU (last year's champion) for 5 years too. Since they play in the same division (the SEC West) in order for Alabama to make the SEC championship game they need to beat LSU, who lost to Florida last week. This is no easy task.

This week Alabama plays Ole Miss (the University of Mississippi) who have emerged stronger this year with a new coach and they will be tough (they beat Florida in the Swamp, which was a major upset). I have a feeling Alabama may have to dig deep on this one. The fans are becoming cocky again, and to any New Zealander who wants an analogy to this, think about the World Cup 1/4 final in Cardiff last year.