Football, football and more football

The college football season has finally ended and the Super Bowl is just around the corner. Here are some tidbits that you may find interesting about football.

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Watching college football on TV became virtually impossible by mid-December without access to ESPN. Out of 39 bowl games, I counted only four that were on network TV. Is that a good thing?

I find it hard to believe that the college football playoffs wouldn?t make more money on network TV, but apparently I?m wrong, because major college sports are all about the money.

Is it only a matter of time until the Super Bowl will be available only on ESPN?

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Did you know Baylor University hired a PR firm to help make its case to be in the four-team playoff? At least one writer praised them for taking that step, writing on ESPN.com that ?Hiring a PR staff to state your case is really no different from bringing a lawyer to a trial. They?re not there to change the rules or bribe the jury. They?re there to make sure the prosecutor isn?t the only one telling the story. And in this landscape of splitting hairs and parsing resumes, that?s not uncouth or objectionable for a program. It?s necessary.?

The efforts of the PR firm weren?t enough, however, because Baylor was on the outside looking in. It may not have helped that the Big 12 couldn?t decide who its champion was from the two teams that tied (Baylor and TCU), even though Baylor edged TCU in its head-to-head game.

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How long will it be until we see an eight-team playoff in college football? Then we can debate whether the No. 9 and 10 teams were overlooked instead of the No. 5 and 6 teams. No system is perfect and the debate is half the fun.

Eight teams still seems manageable and expanding it beyond that number seems a bit much unless you shorten the regular season by a game or two, which I doubt will happen. Remem?ber, it?s all about the money.

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LeBron James has said he doesn?t want his boys, 10-year-old LeBron Jr. and 7-year-old Bryce, to play organized football because of safety concerns. He hasn?t ruled it out for the future, however.

?We don?t want them to play in our household right now until they understand how physical and how body-demanding the game is,? said James in a story by Associated Press. ?Then they can have their choice in high school, we?ll talk over it. But right now there?s no need for it. There?s enough sports they can play. They play basketball, they play soccer, they play everything else but football and hockey.

?It?s a safety thing,? he added. ?As a parent you protect your kids as much as possible. I don?t think I?m the only one that?s not allowing his kids to play football, it?s just that I?m LeBron James and it gets put in the headlines for no reason.?

Interestingly, James often refers to himself as a football player when talking about making physical plays. He?s also a big football fan.

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Fans can be cruel. A group of fed-up New York Jets fans raised $10,000 in less than a week from angry Jets fans to put up a billboard near their stadium to implore Woody Johnson to fire general manager John Idzik. Some people apparently have too much money on their hands if that?s how they use it.

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During the season, the Jets organization was stunned and annoyed by a plane that flew over its outdoor practice facility for 20 minutes, carrying a ?Fire John Idzik? banner. Idzik was on the field, along with owner Woody Johnson.

An unidentified woman, described as a ?disgruntled fan? by the owner of a local aerial advertising company, paid nearly $1,000 to have it done. That?s another, shall we say, interesting use of money.

The next day, a banner-toting aircraft hovered over the Jets practice, but the Jets laughed about it. Practicing indoors because of rain, a toy helicopter?about 1 foot in length?flew over the field as players performed their stretching exercises. Attached to the helicopter was a small banner that said, ?Go Jets!?

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