TIME: US | UK
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THE AMERICAN MAGAZINE ONLINE
Features & Blogs
"Life in the UK"
• Sideline: Yes, Non–Conference Games DO Count
• NCAA Preview 2009
• Sideline: Time For The Talking To Stop
• Sideline: In Memory of Air McNair
• Sideline: Will Goodell Hand Out Hard Time?
• Sideline: Marshall's Not Joshing
• NFL Draft: No Rush To Judgment
• NFL Draft Analysis 2009 (Part 2)
• Sideline: NFL Draft Thoughts (Part 2)
• Sideline: NFL Draft Thoughts
• Sideline: Will Play For Food
• Sideline: Wonderlic Scores
• Sideline: Manning and Sanchez
• Sideline: 2010 Leagues Sci–fi, or Fantasy? / March Madness
• Sideline: Break Out The Brackets
• Sideline: LaDainian Tomlinson On The Record
• Sideline: The Incredible Sulk Continues
• Sideline: Guildford Heat Fired Up
• Sideline: Super Bowl thoughts from the Valley of the Sun
• Sideline: I know I came in here for something
• Sideline: College Football National Signing Day
• Sideline: 27 Points — 27 Super Bowl thoughts
• Sideline: An Epic QB Matchup?
• Sideline: Appreciating Arizona for What They Were
• Sideline: NFL Divisional Weekend Preview
• Sideline: Bowl Season Hangover
• Sideline: Six weeks Later
• Sideline: Wildcard Weekend Preview
• Sideline: Santa's Sackings
• Sideline: A Weis Decision ...for Now
• Sideline: Eye on the Ticker
• Sideline: Lions — An Anagram of Losin
• Sideline: Ready for the Turkey
• Sideline: Making it to the Big Dance
• Sideline: Brighter Days Ahead for Chargers?
• Sideline: Unnecessary Hits To The Pocket / Upset: BYU
• Sideline: Romo's Pause / Seattle Seahawks
• Sideline: Weekend Prep: Red River and More
• Sideline: College Football's 'Crossroads' Weekend
• Sideline: Gramatical Error
• Sideline: Turning The Page
• Sideline: So Cal 'Quizzed
• Sideline: 3rd Tuesday Panic / Forté Yard Dash
• Sideline: Two and Oh; Oh and Two
• Sideline: No More NCAAffeine
• Sideline: Week 1 College Football
• Sideline: How To Spell Heisman / Chad Ocho Cinco
• Sideline: A Second Slice
• Sideline: The Favre story STILL won't go away
• Sideline: Olympic Notes / Ricky's Still Relevant
• Sideline: Committee Meetings
• Sideline: Let the QB Battles Begin
• Sideline: Slinging The Slinger — More Favre
• Interview: Clint Dempsey
• Sideline: Welcome to the 2008 season
• Sideline: Plus One
• 2008 NFL Draft Review
• Sideline: Draft: The Morning After
• Sideline: Draft: Thinking the Unthinkable
• Sideline: Draft: Ready For The Long Haul
• Sideline: Sofa–bound Sport
• Sideline: Post–Winter Wonderland
• Sideline: Six Impossible Things
• Sideline: Brady's Misdirection Play
• Sideline: Colorful Language
• Sideline: Let the Romo–bashing begin
• Sideline: Bowl Bites: The Wrap
• Sideline: All About The Coaches
• Sideline: Bowl Bites 3
• Sideline: Bowl Bites 2
• Sideline: Bowl Bites 1
• Sideline: Coach Situations Vacant
• Sideline: For Some, The Playoffs Are Now
• Sideline: A Certain Lack Of Welcome
• Sideline: Unrelated Notes
• Sideline: Two Thanksgiving thoughts
• Sideline: Halftime: NFC
• Sideline: Halftime: AFC
• Sideline: London / A Tale of Two Chads / Intimidation
• Sideline: Damp Squib / Other London Notes
• Sideline: Rock 'Em, Sock 'Em / Dolphins – The Aftermath
• Sideline: The Dolphins Did What?
• Sideline: Notes on the Defenses
• Sideline: Habits to be Broken
• Sideline: Overtime
• Sideline: This Week's Starters
• Sideline: USF: Covering The Spread / Fantastic Football
• Sideline: Grossman: The Final Act? / McNabb, the Epilogue
• Sideline: Eagles QB in Slight Controversy
• Sideline: Leftwich's Parting Gift / Boos cruise
• Sideline: Notre Dame M.I.A.
• Sideline: Looking Beyond NFL Wk. 1
• Sideline: Best Hope For Heisman
• Sideline: Coaching Hot Seats / AP Poll Feeling ’Appy
• Sideline: The NFL’s Prime Cuts
• Sideline: Michigan Falls to Killer Apps
• Sideline: Look Out Couch / The Taint's On You, Bud
Observations, Opinion & Occasional Silliness by Richard L Gale
Making it to the Big Dance
After this much of a pause, Sideline could only return with the biggest, most important football news, and it does: Warren Sapp has failed to win Dancing With The Stars.
The twinkle–toed behemoth and former Buccaneer and Raider came a very creditable second in the USA version of what the Brits call Strictly Come Dancing. I was, of course, pulling for Sapp to win, if only for having such a camp spectacle won by a man who used to pull the heads off quarterbacks for a living. (Plus anybody who makes it fashionable to be a widebody in a waistcoat gets my vote!)
The votes were legitimately earned, though — Warren proved just how agile football players are. This was a whole different deal from the John Sergeant phenomenon that's been happening over here — something that I suspect owes more to the cynicism of British reality TV voters, who regularly flock to whoever will make life most difficult for Craig Revel Horwood, Simon Cowell and their kind.
After those earlier pop contests championed a singer with a stutter, a morbidly obese teenager, and a spikey–haired lesbian, the British TV–vote anarchists found their patron saint in John Sergeant, a saggy–faced news reporter with genuine charisma but laughably inadequate moves. Those seeking to undermine the very show that supplies their guilty pleasure rallied to Sergeant's plodding steps, eager to see just how far they could pervert the format.
Now, if only a few voters of that tendency could be given a BCS vote we might get somewhere.
If, with a mischievous twinkle in our collective eye, we could get voters to place Texas below Oklahoma even though we all watched them beat Oklahoma last month ... or if we could find a way to maybe guarantee that a conference champ ranked in the 20s goes to a BCS game, but a top 10 conference champ with an unbeaten record doesn't ... or if we could just give voting rights to people who still 'don't know how good Boise or Ball State really are' after they just played an entire 12–game schedule ... then surely, somebody would realize it's all just entertainment and winning doesn't matter.
Yes, folks, that was a touch of the ol' British irony.
Who am I kidding? I don't watch Strictly Come Dancing, and if you have any control over the remote on a Saturday night, neither do you. I suppose, when it comes right down to it, knowing which college plays better football is no more important to climate change and world finance than which celebrity boasts the smoothest samba. It's all just recreational nonsense.
But when we reach the final week of the season, we're right to expect the best contestants.