Paul Ryan Needs A Refresher On How College Football Rivalries Work

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Paul Ryan

Speaker of the House and GOP poster child Paul Ryan doesn’t have a solid grasp on how college football works, as evidenced by a recent meeting with Texas delegates about the current state of the party.

Ryan, the headline speaker at the Texas delegation breakfast in Cleveland on Tuesday morning, likened the current GOP “situation” to a college football rivalry. It was poorly received.

From The Texas Tribune:

“We’ve got really big problems in our country,” Ryan said. “And in our party, we’ve had, let’s say, a really big family discussion,” he added, less than 24 hours after major delegate disruptions on the RNC floor.

Then he shifted to Texas football, name-checking several of the major football teams and his own home state powerhouse: “You’ve got Horned Frogs, Aggies … You’ve got Longhorns…and Wisconsin Badgers.”

“But when one of the teams advances, to a big bowl game? Or a national championship? Don’t you root for the Aggies if you are a Longhorn?”

The Texas Republican audience then broke out into laughter.

“You don’t?” a perplexed speaker asked, adding that his whole point was “obliterated.”

“Well, let me tell you how we do it where I come from,” he said. “I come from Big Ten country, so we fight like heck against Ohio State or Michigan. And then, when it doesn’t go our way or they make it to the Rose Bowl or they go to the national championship, we root for them because we’re in the same conference.”

WHAT? Are you trying to act like sports fans are rational people who make logical and reasonable decisions when it comes to rooting for rivals? Have you never been to a college football game? That is not what happens. At all. A college football rivalry game is the only time in your life you will see a respectable adult yell obscenities at a child for wearing the wrong color in his presence.

When OU got its ass stomped by Clemson in the college football playoff last year, you could practically hear the “Tiger” chants in Austin from space. Would it be nice for the Big 12 to win a national championship? Of course. But as a Texas fan, I’d rather see the whole goddamn conference implode before I see Big Game Bob bring home a crystal trophy to Norman. And watching Texas A&M blow it against Ole Miss and Louisville last year? Well that, my friends, was appointment television.

I have a feeling the same thing happened in Ann Arbor when Alabama lit up Michigan State. And I’m sure nobody enjoyed Florida’s down years more than Florida State. I think they love Will Muschamp in Tallahassee almost as much as they love Jimbo Fisher.

This kind of conference homer bullshit exists only in one conference: the SEC — where shitty college football teams rub elbows with Alabama, LSU, and Florida and pretend to be elite. Maybe if Ryan was speaking to the Georgia delegation breakfast, this kind of ridiculous mindset would have been more well-received.

Politics is not like college football, Mr. Speaker. Nothing is.

[via The Texas Tribune]

Image via Shutterstock/Christopher Halloran

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