Adams, Heisman, Football : My Night of Television

One of the things about traveling is that I watch TV, or have the TV going while I work. At home, with 2 young kids, the TV remains mostly off. Thursday night, I had the Boston College -- Virginia Tech game on. Intermittently, I switched over to the PBS documentary on John Adams.

Thoughts from My Night of TV:

(1) Boston College ("A Jesuit, Catholic University") surely are lucky campers. Three consecutive plays in one drive, they fumbled the ball and recovered it themselves. After they punted, Virginia Tech missed a handoff and who should recover that fumble but Boston College!

(2) The US was lucky in its founding fathers -- Washington, Adams, Jefferson and Hamilton. Not all new countries are fortunate enough to have thoughtful, honest men who put their country's needs first. India was reasonably provident as well -- even though Gandhi was not able to prevent partition and Nehru was too left-wing, they did forge a nation out of a country that was 15% Muslim even after Pakistan broke away. The third (!) country I consider home -- Liberia -- was definitely unfortunate in its founding fathers. These were returned American slaves, who formed a class-ridden society where the lighter-skinned American former slaves lorded it over the ethnic tribes who already populated the land, paving the way for a civil war that devastated the country in the 1980s and 1990s.

(3) Ryan sure is Heisman potential. Scoring 14 points in the last 5 minutes of a game should qualify him, no matter that it came about because Virginia Tech could not hold onto an onside kick. But the way he did it ... the Boston College offensive line was thoroughly beaten throughout the game, so Ryan scrambled out of the pocket, creating time to find open receivers. If a great player is one who plays above his team's talents, Ryan's last two drives qualified. The game winning pass was a beaut -- he scrambled out of the pocket as 3 Hokie defensive linemen collapsed the entire offensive line and scrambled half the width of the field and yards from the sideline, without even stopping to gain a stance, he threw a long one diagonally across the field to a receiver who'd momentarily gotten open.

(4) Adams would have been a hero if he had done nothing after the American revolution. After all, he was he one who pushed for total independence over the objections of moderates in the continental congress, pushed for French naval help (it turned the course of the war at Saratoga), the one who negotiated loans from the Dutch that kept the war effort possible and the one who negotiated a very advantageous peace treaty with Britain. But Adams came back, and as the second president, kept America from going to war against France -- a war from which a young nation might not have recovered.

(5) One possibility is a Ohio State -- Boston College national championship. Of course, the Buckeyes play Penn State at Penn State and Michigan at Michigan and Boston College may meet up with a VT team that outplayed them for 54 minutes in their conference championship game. Still, I like the chances of a OSU-BC BCS game. And if Ryan wins the Heisman, and the Heisman jinx holds, then all the better! Go Bucks!

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