How About Those Stories About Declining Interest In College Football?

Earlier this year people were writing about how the interest in college football is declining.  This story is one of several I saw pursuing that theme.

Guess what?  The news that college football is on the outs with fans might be a bit . . . wrong.  They’ve now determined that the Ohio State-Alabama game in the Sugar Bowl drew the largest audience in cable TV history — 28.2 million viewers, which just edged out the impressive number who tuned in for the earlier Rose Bowl semifinal game between Oregon and Florida State.  And the size of the Sugar Bowl audience is even more striking when you consider that (1) the experts were uniformly predicting an Alabama blowout and (2) the game didn’t begin until 9 a.m. and didn’t end until about 1 a.m. Eastern time.

I’d like to attribute the record-setting audience to the rabid fans in Buckeye Nation, and the fact that every living soul in the state of Ohio watched the game.  I’m sure that OSU was a big draw, and Alabama, too, but I think the real reason for the huge ratings is that the college football playoff has introduced a new and interesting element to the sport.  When you consider that, under the old BCS system, neither Ohio State nor Oregon would likely be playing in the championship game, you get a sense of the shot of adrenalin and excitement that the playoff concept has produced.

American sports fans like to see people earn championships on the field, not through some subjective rankings system.  Don’t be surprised if the tremendous ratings both college football playoff games received on January 1 gives a shot in the arm to efforts to increase the number of playoff teams to eight — and sooner rather than later.

A Fan-tastic Idea

IMG_4437I’m not a huge fan of ceiling fans — pun intended — and one of things that is irritating about them is that you don’t know whether the pull cord you’re tugging is to turn on the light or start the fan spinning.

That’s why I liked these pull cord options on the ceiling fan in Richard’s apartment.  There’s no mistaking which one does what.

The Lake County Courthouse

IMG_4501Yesterday I was in Painesville for a visit that took me to the Lake County Courthouse.  As I’ve mentioned before, Ohio is blessed with many beautiful county courthouses, and Lake County has one of them.

IMG_4500Located across from Veteran’s Memorial Park in the center of Painesville, the courthouse is a magnificent structure with the inevitable clock tower, topped with an eagle, and inscriptions about the majesty of the law.  The structure was renovated recently, and it shows.  Inside on the courtroom floor are a grand hallway wide enough to host a marching band, gleaming hardwood floors, half-marble walls, beautiful wooden benches, and a fabulous skylight.

My favorite feature of the courthouse, however, are the large statues placed on either side of the staircase entrance.  Rather than the more standard historic figures or representations of blinded justice with scales and sword, the statues are of two deep-eyed, toga-clad figures, depicted as if they are just beginning to rise from a seated position.  Their entire demeanor conveys seriousness and skepticism — which is not a bad theme for a courthouse.