Hi, I'm Blatant Homerism, Oklahoma Sooners fan and interested observer of such classic college football scandals as "Switzer's Sins" and "Honk if You're Horny: The Big Red Sports/Imports Story." Dealing with an NCAA investigation into your favorite team can be stressful for anyone. If the amateurism police dogs have picked up your squad's scent, you may be wondering:
- If my boys go on probation, where will I find a substitute to inflate my own sense of self-worth?
- If a win is vacated, does that mean it never happened?
- How could (insert star player's name here) do this to me? He looked like such a good kid on TV.
- Will I look like a total douchenozzle in front of all my enemies on the Rivals message board?
With the recent news of potential trouble for their programs, the good people at the University of Oregon and Ohio State asked me to put together this instructive article on how to save face when an NCAA waterboarding is looming. Here are some best practices for firing back against holier-than-thou opposing fans who are reveling in your team's misfortune.
Everybody Does It
This tried-and-true response has the advantage of essentially ending the argument before it even starts. In the words of accused perjurer Roger Clemens, "How can someone prove a negative?"
The Rules Are Stupid and Vague
The lawyer in the group will likely fall back on this letter of the law strategy. "What's a 'booster?'" "How is the school supposed to know what players are up to every minute of the day?" "Under Rule X, coaches commit violations in their sleep."
Accuse the Accusers
Here's a chance to rally your adversaries around a common enemy. Everyone hates the NCAA. At the very least, your nemesis will come off like the cold-hearted bastard he truly is.
"OK, Gaddafi, sounds like you're rooting for the NCAA. Bet the Miracle on Ice really pissed you off."
This is Still America, Right?
Show off your patriotism by defending the rights of the accused. What could be more American than innocent until proven guilty? Last I checked, this isn't Communist China, is it?
"It's Nothing but a Lot of Envy"
The "Mike Garrett Defense" typically appeals to the more pompous fan. History shows it has a low success rate, but if coming off like an arrogant prick is your goal, mission accomplished.
Unfortunately, there's no one-size-fits-all solution to defending your team in these cases. You have to figure out what method of rationalization works best for you.
Once you do, though, you'll be ready for any pay-for-play scandal or academic irregularities that come your way.