TIME: US | UK
WEATHER: US | UK
THE AMERICAN MAGAZINE ONLINE
Features & Blogs
"Life in the UK"
• Sideline: Yes, Non–Conference Games DO Count
• NCAA Preview 2009
• Sideline: Time For The Talking To Stop
• Sideline: In Memory of Air McNair
• Sideline: Will Goodell Hand Out Hard Time?
• Sideline: Marshall's Not Joshing
• NFL Draft: No Rush To Judgment
• NFL Draft Analysis 2009 (Part 2)
• Sideline: NFL Draft Thoughts (Part 2)
• Sideline: NFL Draft Thoughts
• Sideline: Will Play For Food
• Sideline: Wonderlic Scores
• Sideline: Manning and Sanchez
• Sideline: 2010 Leagues Sci–fi, or Fantasy? / March Madness
• Sideline: Break Out The Brackets
• Sideline: LaDainian Tomlinson On The Record
• Sideline: The Incredible Sulk Continues
• Sideline: Guildford Heat Fired Up
• Sideline: Super Bowl thoughts from the Valley of the Sun
• Sideline: I know I came in here for something
• Sideline: College Football National Signing Day
• Sideline: 27 Points — 27 Super Bowl thoughts
• Sideline: An Epic QB Matchup?
• Sideline: Appreciating Arizona for What They Were
• Sideline: NFL Divisional Weekend Preview
• Sideline: Bowl Season Hangover
• Sideline: Six weeks Later
• Sideline: Wildcard Weekend Preview
• Sideline: Santa's Sackings
• Sideline: A Weis Decision ...for Now
• Sideline: Eye on the Ticker
• Sideline: Lions — An Anagram of Losin
• Sideline: Ready for the Turkey
• Sideline: Making it to the Big Dance
• Sideline: Brighter Days Ahead for Chargers?
• Sideline: Unnecessary Hits To The Pocket / Upset: BYU
• Sideline: Romo's Pause / Seattle Seahawks
• Sideline: Weekend Prep: Red River and More
• Sideline: College Football's 'Crossroads' Weekend
• Sideline: Gramatical Error
• Sideline: Turning The Page
• Sideline: So Cal 'Quizzed
• Sideline: 3rd Tuesday Panic / Forté Yard Dash
• Sideline: Two and Oh; Oh and Two
• Sideline: No More NCAAffeine
• Sideline: Week 1 College Football
• Sideline: How To Spell Heisman / Chad Ocho Cinco
• Sideline: A Second Slice
• Sideline: The Favre story STILL won't go away
• Sideline: Olympic Notes / Ricky's Still Relevant
• Sideline: Committee Meetings
• Sideline: Let the QB Battles Begin
• Sideline: Slinging The Slinger — More Favre
• Interview: Clint Dempsey
• Sideline: Welcome to the 2008 season
• Sideline: Plus One
• 2008 NFL Draft Review
• Sideline: Draft: The Morning After
• Sideline: Draft: Thinking the Unthinkable
• Sideline: Draft: Ready For The Long Haul
• Sideline: Sofa–bound Sport
• Sideline: Post–Winter Wonderland
• Sideline: Six Impossible Things
• Sideline: Brady's Misdirection Play
• Sideline: Colorful Language
• Sideline: Let the Romo–bashing begin
• Sideline: Bowl Bites: The Wrap
• Sideline: All About The Coaches
• Sideline: Bowl Bites 3
• Sideline: Bowl Bites 2
• Sideline: Bowl Bites 1
• Sideline: Coach Situations Vacant
• Sideline: For Some, The Playoffs Are Now
• Sideline: A Certain Lack Of Welcome
• Sideline: Unrelated Notes
• Sideline: Two Thanksgiving thoughts
• Sideline: Halftime: NFC
• Sideline: Halftime: AFC
• Sideline: London / A Tale of Two Chads / Intimidation
• Sideline: Damp Squib / Other London Notes
• Sideline: Rock 'Em, Sock 'Em / Dolphins – The Aftermath
• Sideline: The Dolphins Did What?
• Sideline: Notes on the Defenses
• Sideline: Habits to be Broken
• Sideline: Overtime
• Sideline: This Week's Starters
• Sideline: USF: Covering The Spread / Fantastic Football
• Sideline: Grossman: The Final Act? / McNabb, the Epilogue
• Sideline: Eagles QB in Slight Controversy
• Sideline: Leftwich's Parting Gift / Boos cruise
• Sideline: Notre Dame M.I.A.
• Sideline: Looking Beyond NFL Wk. 1
• Sideline: Best Hope For Heisman
• Sideline: Coaching Hot Seats / AP Poll Feeling ’Appy
• Sideline: The NFL’s Prime Cuts
• Sideline: Michigan Falls to Killer Apps
• Sideline: Look Out Couch / The Taint's On You, Bud
Observations, Opinion & Occasional Silliness by Richard L Gale
No More NCAAffeine Needed
I'll admit, I'm a bit of a Luddite. I spend my days working on computers, and my nights relying on them for football statistics and breaking developments, but as regards the silver and white technoboxes that clutter my desk, my geek credentials are pathetic.
When it comes to my car, I drive a Ford and if anything goes wrong, I let a man in an overall tinker under the 'bonnet'. When it comes to my computer, I drive a Mac which, as is often said, 'simply works', so I've never had to endure the learning curve that regular PC owners undergo – I've never really understood why people think automatic transmission represents progress over using a gear stick, yet the manual shift of Windows is favored over the select–and–go of the Mac OS. See, I just said 'OS' as if I know anything about operating systems. I don't. My car is pretty, so is my computer, and when I sit in the seat, I feel comfortable. And that's as technical as it gets for me.
In theory, then, I should have upgraded from Sky to Sky+ some time ago. The gadgetry doesn't really require me to understand the technology, and it just makes my life easier, allowing me to watch shows whenever I have the time (assuming I've remembered to register my interest in the first place). So why, now that I've finally succumbed to another expensive technobox, do I feel slightly flat about the fact that watching my beloved football doesn't require my heart to pump a high–octane mix of blood and caffeine just to make it through the late games?
The answer: I like living on Eastern Time. I've got used to it. For my entire working life I've arranged my Fall evenings around kickoff, time–shifting my working days when possible, foregoing sleep when not possible, and yes, falling asleep during the middle game when failing to do either. Mrs Football green–lit the purchase of the Sky+ box on the basis that I might not stay up until 5am most days of the week.
You see, I'm not entirely sure I want to live in the same time zone as the rest of the Brits. For as long as I can remember, I've had one foot in the States, either through relatives or vacations or my parents' second home, but most of all through football, through knowing that somewhere, five time zones from here, a game was kicking off and if I worked really really hard at it, I could catch a waft of it between the crackles of the radio.
Now this: college football, once the holy grail of dedication, is available any time I want it, kickoff when it suits me. No caffeine required. Is that a good thing? Wasn't staying up past my bedtime the reason I latched onto this 'obscure foreign' sport in the first place?
So this weekend, Ohio State visits USC in the dead of night, kickoff in the small hours with unbeaten records and possibly contention for the national championship on the line in the first maximum–hype action of the year. I shall record it, of course, store it up for leisurely perusal on a lazy Sunday afternoon while I wait for the NFL to come on. I certainly won't stay up all night and then stagger into action Sunday lunchtime.
Ah heck, who am I kidding?
THE WEEKEND AHEAD
NCAAF: Georgia vs South Carolina (NASN, Saturday 8.30pm BST)
If this one gets out of shape early, I'll be watching the highlights of Cal vs Maryland, but wow, is there a Gamecocks fan at NASN this year? That's their first three games covered live.
NCAAF: Ohio State vs USC (NASN, Sunday 1am BST)
The big one. A few weeks ago I picked Ohio State to beat USC, but with Chris Wells less than 100%, not a hope. One voter in each of the polls still gave the Buckeyes a first–place vote. Wow, what game were they watching last week?
NFL: Green Bay at Detroit (red button: Indianapolis at Minnesota) (SkySports 2, Sunday 6pm BST)
If Detroit are as inept this week as in their opener, I'll be flipping to Indie and the Vikes pretty quickly – one of those two will be going 0–2, and that's going to create some ripples.
NFL: New England at NY Jets (red button: San Diego at Denver) (SkySports 2, Sunday 9pm BST)
This would have been a huge deal with the 'Brady vs Favre' match–up we so nearly saw for the Superbowl. Instead, we're cheated again, with Cassel vs Favre. And I still think Cassel will come out on top.
NFL: Pittsburgh at Cleveland (SkySports 2, Monday 1.30am BST)
There's no going to bed early for this one. The Steelers looked much smoother than I expected last weekend, and the Browns didn't rise to the occasion against the Cowboys, making this a huge divisional match–up already.
Plus button for later:
NCAAF: California vs Maryland (NASN, Saturday 5pm BST)
NCAAF: North Carolina vs Rutgers (NASN 2, Friday 12.30am BST)
NCAAF: Kansas vs South Florida (NASN, Saturday 1am BST)
NCAAF: Arkansas vs Texas (NASN Sunday 7am BST, As Live)
NFL: Philadelphia at Dallas (SkySports 1, Tuesday 1.30am BST)
This last one really deserves to be a couch–worthy game, but as Mrs Football is a Philly fan, I'll save it for the day after. I don't see Dallas being knocked off this early by the Eagles, though.