by Eddiz (who thought we should Texas Two-Step from the Series for a day and chill Ft. Worth style – we agreed)

FORT WORTH, TX – Well, the talk down here at Fox’s Barber Shop revolves around a few things; college football, pro football, high school football and – during the off season – football recruiting and the NFL Draftl. Fox’s is an ol’ timey place with four chairs, lots of deep Southern drawls, a shoe shine guy, and the pre-requisite country western softly playing in the background. Haircuts start at 8 bucks… ‘Red State Hillbilly Dee-lux, please!’

So, with the recent Can O’ Whup-Ass that the Christians of TCU hung on the Mormons of BYU out in the LDS motherland of Provo, much talk revolved around whose team God liked more, or if he/she/it gives a rat’s behind about it. Is there football in heaven? Every time you turn around some guy is genuflecting in the end zone after he scored a touchdown, crossing himself after an interception or praising the heavens after a big sack.

Should they praise Allah after throwing the bomb successfully? By the way, did you ever notice that if you change the initials of the Mormon’s official acronym around, it’s shorthand for a hallucinogenic drug? Well, ol’ Joe Smith did claim to have his revelations looking into a hat, so…..

Yet, I digress…

Everyone inside the shop generally sided on the affirmative side of this philosophical debate, with all concurring that there IS football in heaven, and it’s played on real grass. Football in heaven also has no dang instant replay messing up the works, allows the old bump and run defense, calls clipping what it is instead of “blocking behind the back”, does not allow linemen to extend their arms, and has the old rules for intentional grounding. We’re all pretty sure that God’s an old school type. Maybe we can name Vince Lombardi as the Patron Saint of Contract Sports and make little medals of him that I-talian people from the north can hang from their rear view mirrors.

The conversation, however, was long, involved and heated. Last time I can remember such passionate feelings and strenuous vocalizing was when Joe Larry was pondering if he should put nekkid pictures of his soon to be ex-wife on the web (some said it would reflect poorly on him and was not a responsible and mature thing for him to do, but the rest of us voted for the pictures because she’s pretty much a yummy mummy and we kinda wanted to see the full details; Yep, she is a true blond. Anyway, the result is that the boys at Fox’s are proposing another college football league; the Big Halo, which recognizes the religious significance that several institutions have brought to the game, with the following charter members:

NOTRE DAME: With Touchdown Jesus and the aura and mystique that surrounds them, the Fightin’ Irish have been claiming divine intervention since The Gipper kicked the bucket. And what other program could Hollywood have had as a backdrop for a cornball movie like Rudy and get away with it? With a straight face!? Yep, the mother of all religious programs and also the most historically successful, although they don’t seem to have too many Irish guys actually playing anymore. Maybe we should rename them the Fightin’ Apostates. Unfortunately, as of late they have not been playing like God’s chosen.

BOSTON COLLEGE: For years the poor step-brother OF Notre Dame, fightin’ for Roman Catholic athletes across the country, BC has had some recent success by pointing out to these young men that they are in Boston while ND is in…well, Indiana. The boys from Boston decision to join the ACC, a conference they have zero historical or geographical ties with, did come as a thunderbolt from above to the fellow Big East conference members they stiffed. Alas, God works in mysterious ways.

TEXAS CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY: The Horned Frog, their mascot, is an ornery little lizard that spits blood from its eye. Seems like a miracle. It’ll be a bigger miracle if the powers that be initiated an actual playoff system, so that programs like TCU would have a shot.

SOUTHERN METHODIST UNIVERSITY: The Horned Frogs old foe from the now defunct Southwest Conference, which they helped to destroy with their rampant cheating and recruiting violations, SMU remains the only program that the NCAA has given a full death sentence to. Still suffering for their sinnin’ ways, they have not had a winning season in an eternity.

BAYLOR: Being Baptist, they don’t smoke, they don’t chew, and they don’t go with the girls that do. Also avoid making love standing up, since people might think they’re dancin’. Can’t play football worth a damn, either, as they are the perennial cellar dweller in the so called Big 12.

Northwestern: People forget, but the boys from Chicago used to be called the Fightin’ Methodists, back in the days of ol’ 98, Tom Harmon. Belonging to the Big 10, otherwise known as the conference that cannot count (um…ya’ all got 11 teams); NU continues to hang in there with the Ohio States, Michigan’s and Penn States of the world. Their favorite chant used to be “that all right, that’s ok, we will be your boss someday”, but they have gone and ruined all that fun by actually being competitive the last decade.

Brigham Young University: What can you say about a place named after a guy who had 58 wives and produced something like 150+ offspring? His family tree is freaking crabgrass (Hall of Fame QB Steve Young, amongst others, claims direct lineage). Since they have made great strides getting converts from the Pacific Island nations like Tonga, Samoa and Fiji, Mormon central also has more coconuts than a cream pie desert shop.

Stanford University: Representing the atheists out there, the tres chic California institution has not done much since they went PC and changed their name from the Indians to The Cardinal. Not “the Cardinals” but “The Cardinal”; they named themselves after a friggin’ color! That just ain’t right.

We’ve also got a Pope Division, for all the 1-AA schools out there like St. John’s, Villanova, Fordham, Georgetown, etc. who really only want to play basketball but keep a football team on the field…just because.

Unfortunately, we don’t have any examples of any other major religious groups playing football, although were all agreed that if the Hindu’s field a team it will use a multi-faceted offence, the Buddhists would feature a defense that would bend but not break, and the Muslims would be real involved in recruiting…all over….for all positions…especially amongst angry young men….

Not too sure that there would be a Team Zion<, given that one of the smallest books in the world is “Great Jewish Athletes” (Sandy Koufax, Hank Greenburg and… Ummm… Hmmmm).

Well who knows, since as the old song says “in heaven there is no beer, that’s why we drink it here”, and a heaven without beer would be kind of a dull place.

But while we’re not sure if there’s Football in Heaven, we did all agree that there is definitely soccer in hell… It goes on, with the score 0-0, forever… Just like the World Cup. For all you futbol fans, this vids for you…

Cookie’s Corner, tomorrow. Go Philkees!

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