Some day the next Edward Gibbon will come along to chronicle the obsessive triviality of the succession of boy-kings we’ve been choosing to manage the late period of the American empire. In his own half-term-plus, President Obama has regularly taken time out to issue March Madness brackets. Meanwhile, he has delivered a single Oval Office speech, late and unspecific, on why he opened a third front of foreign wars.
Now, amidst mounting evidence that our out-of-control sports industries are producing, literally, a generation of bird brains, the Justice Department Antitrust Division has positioned its teeth where they can really bite: on how college football’s Bowl Championship Series might be illegally hoarding glory and moolah on behalf of just a few of the most powerful athletic conferences.
Fittingly, news of the BCS probe leaked the same week in which researchers in Boston released the expected finding on the chronic traumatic encephalopathy that had deadened portions of the brain of former National Football League star Dave Duerson, who committed suicide three months ago.
If Obama and his advisers could be persuaded to redirect their focus from the real and present danger of a mythical football championship, they might want to ponder how the fewer than one percent of exploited college players who “graduate” to the NFL confront a health and disability system that likely wouldn’t stand up to scrutiny in any other $9-billion-a-year industry.
CONTINUED TODAY AT BEYOND CHRON, THE SAN FRANCISCO ONLINE NEWSPAPER: