It may still be a full week until the election, but I’m counting down the days until Saturday, when I can take off my referee’s shirt. That’s the final day we’ll be running letters to the editor related to the Nov. 2 voting.
We’ve been deluged, and despite opening up extra room on the opinion page, there are going to be more letters than space to print them. Just ask the candidates, who somehow always seem to know if letters supporting their campaigns haven’t appeared in print.
If you still plan to submit an election-related letter, please do it soon. Here are a few tips:
• Email it if possible to tripnews@
triplicate.com. This expedites the procedure, since it won’t have to be retyped. You still need to include your name, hometown and telephone number.
• Did I mention that some letters are repetitive? Yours will have a better chance of getting published if you espouse a fresh viewpoint.
• Letters to the editor are all about local commentary — tell us how you feel and why. Local views on national issues are welcome, as are out-of-town views on local issues. Letters should not make claims or accusations that require substantial efforts at verification — those are called news tips and can be emailed to the same location.
• They also should not regurgitate information from the Internet, although an occasional tip to check out a website is fine. We all know, for instance, that there are a zillion places to go on-line to read about how great or terrible fluoride is — that’s why our news article Saturday asked a primary supporter and opponent of the city defluoridation measure to cite the websites they most recommended to voters.
While there is no way that all of the election-related letters will be published, I will continue to strive to present them fairly. And come Saturday, that referee’s shirt comes off and the Oregon Ducks shirt goes back on, just in time for the USC game.
Looking for true injustice?
Ahh, the Ducks. If you’ve followed University of Oregon football as long as I have, you know how special it was a week ago last Sunday to finally have the Ducks voted No. 1 in the national polls for the first time in school history.
The sublime sensation lasted about six hours, until the curse on college football known as the BCS released its first rankings — a mishmash of human pollsters and computer calculations. Turns out the computers don’t like the Ducks, who were relegated to No. 2 behind Oklahoma.
The timing provided a wicked reminder that Division I football is the one college sport that has no true champion. Instead, greedy universities, bowl game organizers and TV networks conspire to preserve a profitable system that crowns a “champion” based on the whims of so-called experts and computer geeks instead of deciding matters on the field of play.
Last Saturday Oklahoma lost while the Ducks crushed UCLA, 60-13. It wasn’t as close as the score indicated. The human pollsters were impressed and voted Oregon an even more solid No. 1. But the BCS announced a new top team — Auburn. Its computers actually ranked unbeaten Oregon eighth — behind two teams that have already lost games.
Perhaps the Ducks this season have a mission even greater than proving they’re the best team in college football. If they continue to steamroll opponents and be ranked No. 1 by humans, yet somehow get denied a spot in the so-called BCS national championship game by friggin’ computers, the system’s inadequacy will be laid bare like never before.
What’s sad is that these BCS morons could do the right thing and make even more money. They could preserve all of their precious bowl games, including the Rose, Orange, Sugar and Fiesta. Those four could be the quarter-finals of an eight-team national tournament. After that, you play two semi-finals and then a true championship game.