Having exposed the Wake Forest University Demon Deacon football team for what they are (liars, cheats and thieves), I am now embroiled in further controversy. The vast unwashed masses which make up my regular readership (I am referring here to Ben Elliott) have risen up in arms in defense of poor, pitiful Wake, making the standard excuse of eleven-year-old miscreants everywhere: everybody does it.
Of course they do. But we expect better of a formerly nominally Baptist institution.
Certainly all football teams cheat. That's why the games have penalties. Ever seen a college football game without a penalty? Didn't think so. But I'm not speaking of an "illegal shift" or a "substitution infraction" or even "illegal touching" (which is not nearly as bad as it sounds -- not that I could explain why not in family paper such as this). What I am speaking of is the endemic and systemic epidemic of vile and corrupt practices that threaten to turn an esteemed American institution into something akin to the United States Congress. Yeah, it’s that bad.
In some cases the cheating in college football is so out in the open no one notices. How's this for truth in advertising? Sooner, the nickname for the University of Oklahoma actually means cheater. Don't believe me? Open your textbook, "A Brief History of the Desolate Interior Portions of the North American Continent," to page 318. Follow as I read: "On April 22, 1889, the first day homesteading was permitted, 50,000 people swarmed into the Oklahoma Territory. Those who left before the noon starting gun were called Sooners, hence the nickname." Here's what Funk & Wagnalls say: "Sooner: a person who settles on government land before it is legally opened to settlers in order to gain the choice of location, thus, more generally, a person who gains an unfair advantage by getting ahead of others."
Makes you wonder how the honor code at Oklahoma reads, don't it?
Also consider this: "Boomer Sooner," the fight song for the University of Oklahoma was written by Arthur M. Alden in 1905 with a tune "borrowed" from "Boola Boola," the fight song of Yale University. An addition added a year later was "borrowed" from UNC's "I'm a Tar Heel Born."
But, you say, having actually watched some of many fine corporately sponsored holiday season football bowl games, the cheaters didn't always win. Settle down. Don't you remember what I said? They all cheat. So, while all the winners did cheat, some of the cheaters did lose. The best case in point is Oklahoma. Of course the Sooners cheated, they just got out-cheated in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl by the Broncos of Boise State. The three biggest plays of the game? All "trick" plays. The game winning play? The Statue of Liberty -- which was outlawed by the Geneva Conventions in 1949.
The Wednesday Morning Quarterbacks all also want to know why Wake, if they cheat so much, didn't win against Louisville (which is not pronounced Lewis-ville, as many might think, but Louie-ville). The answer is simple. Louisville cheated more, better and faster. Anyone who watched the Orange Bowl will have noticed that the biggest play for the Louisville Cardinals was a cross-field halfback pass.
Now just where might you think that Louisville got this play? Simple, they stole it from the playbook they pilfered from Wake Forest.And if these results are not enough to make my point, anyone who watched carefully the Tostitos BCS Bowl will testify that the Florida Gators appeared to be the Demon Deacons on steroids -- literally. The deception, fakery and connivances of the Gators were so effective that UF coach Urban Meyer could have won without THE Ohio State University Buckeyes’ star, Ted Ginn, Jr., injuring himself celebrating 14 seconds into the game, or for THE Ohio State University coach Jim Tressel opting to go for it on fourth and one at their own 29 yard line when down by 10 points in the second quarter -- not that Coach Meyer didn’t appreciate the help
Errata from the "How does Wake's football team win?" column. Kent University alumni were incensed that I did not know that while Kent State University had changed its name to Kent University it had since reverted back to Kent State University. Sorry, it's my fault I didn't have them on speed-dial. If it's any consolation to them, I don't know what to call Theresa Heinz Kerry Heinz either.
Gary D. Gaddy is just back from an early January trip to south Florida where he and one of his WFU brothers took their father, who matriculated at Wake Forest College in 1941 and then went on to Bowman-Gray Medical School, to a special four-hour therapy session intended to relieve over 65 years of chronic pain. The treatment was partially successful.
A version of this column was published in the Chapel Hill Herald, January 18, 2007. Copyright 2007 Gary D. Gaddy