A SWAT for taking college football to Congress
Then why was it being played again for 40 minutes Thursday in the U.S. House of Representatives?
Because a representative from Florida wanted to recognize the Gators. Twenty-four other Floridians joined him as co-sponsors of the House Resolution 58, along with a representative from Kentucky in what must have been a move for Southeastern Conference solidarity.
The resolution was introduced Jan. 13 and sent to the Education and Labor Committee for review. If that's not a statement about the amateur status of college football players, I don't know what is.
Resolutions usually are annoying little time-wasters - you'd have better luck trying to block a runaway Mack truck with a Yugo than you would in stopping them. The House handled eight Thursday morning, ranging from recognition of the pilot and crew of the U.S. Airways flight that plunged into the Hudson River to honoring the contributions of Catholic schools.
This one, though, wound up being a bigger time-waster, as elected representatives with no other pressing business to attend to debated the Gator resolution for 40 minutes.
Utah's delegation, still miffed that Utes' undefeated record didn't get them an invite to the final game, refused to support the resolution. They instead voted "present," as did two Texas representatives and one each from Alabama and Illinois.
Five members voted against it, including Republican Rep. Joe Barton, who thinks the home state University of Texas should have had a shot, too.
"A fine school with a great team deserves better than a national championship that was decided inside somebody's computer," Barton told The Associated Press.
If Barton has his way, that will never happen again. In December, he introduced HR 7330. Hold onto your Stetson because the title's a long one: "To prohibit, as an unfair and deceptive act or practice, the promotion, marketing, and advertising of any post-season NCAA Division I football game as a national championship game unless such game is the culmination of a fair and equitable playoff system. "
He wants to put the Federal Trade Commission in charge of policing that.
In recognition of creating a needless debate over a meaningless resolution, sponsoring legislation in an area that's really of no congressional concern and wanting to stick a federal agency's nose in where it has no business, Barton is the first recipient of 9to5to9's Stop Wasting America's Time award.
I get that college football is big in Texas. Pee-wee football is big in Texas for that matter.
I don't know the sting of my team being rejected for a marquee bowl - I'm a West Virginia University grad, and we take whatever crumbs come our way because self-inflicted gunshot wounds usually keep us from reaching higher. But I'll accept that the Fiesta Bowl was a blow for Barton and the Longhorns.
But I cannot accept that the House spent 40 seconds, let alone 40 minutes, debating a piece of puff. And I cannot accept that Barton's bill will continue to clog Congress and kill trees.
And apparently I'm not the only one. Rep. Marion Berry, D-Ark., said he voted against the resolution Thursday in part because he thinks it's a waste of Congress' time.
It sure is.
Stop Wasting America's Time, Rep. Barton.
Know of someone who deserves a SWAT? Click here to make a nomination. Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.