- ISIL creates all-female brigade to terrorize women into following Sharia law
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- Obama to Latin leaders: Help with border
- Military bans troops from Baptist church event honoring ‘God’s Rescue Squad’
- ‘Pocket drones’: U.S. Army developing tiny surveillance tools for the next big war
- Belgian cafe posts sign: Dogs allowed, but Jews stay out
- Gen. Dempsey: Pentagon studying Russian readiness plans not viewed ‘for 20 years’
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is ‘torture’
- House GOP ready to move border bill
- Bomb squad called after live WWII artillery washes on Cape Cod beach
INFLUENCE GAME: Picking a college football champ
Question of the Day
But Scott McKibben, executive director of the Rose Bowl _ the one BCS bowl that has escaped the PAC’s criticism _ said the group has “stirred up the dust with fans” on the question of whether a playoff would be better than the BCS.
“I don’t think there’s any question that they have, just from a pure fan awareness and media exposure perspective, brought that up a notch or two,” he said.
It didn’t start that way. In 2009, ESPN announced the news of the PAC’s formation with mockery.
“Forget health care,” ESPN anchor Stan Verrett said with a dismissive wave of his hand. “Even when they’re really really sick, you know all people really want is for their team to get a fair shot at the title.”
The reaction wasn’t all that different at Sanderson’s own law firm. One of his bosses, partner Joe Birkenstock, recalled that some of the other partners were saying, “Look, isn’t this just a waste of time? We don’t want to start throwing elbows in that corner of the world. You gotta be kidding, the college football system needs a political action committee?”
Birkenstock, a former chief counsel for the Democratic National Committee, said that he and Sanderson argued that it was an important issue that many people cared about. Since then, other lawyers at the firm have contributed their time to the effort: Birkenstock and fellow partner, Marcus Owens, former director of the IRS exempt organizations division, both joined Sanderson in signing an IRS complaint accusing the Sugar, Orange and Fiesta bowls of violating their tax-exempt status.
The PAC has done its own share of mockery, and one target is Hancock, the BCS executive director. A PAC ad on YouTube compared him to “Baghdad Bob,” Saddam Hussein’s information minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf, who gave reality-defying news briefings. The ad dubbed Hancock “Baghdad Bill,” slapped a military beret on his head, and interspersed his audio clips with video clips of al-Sahaf, with Benny Hill music playing in the background. Matthew Martinez, another founder of the PAC, conceded with a laugh that the Baghdad Bill ad was not the group’s finest piece of work.
He added that Hancock was lampooned because he’s the face of the BCS, but that the group has nothing against Hancock personally.
“We’re attacking the BCS,” said Martinez. “We’re not attacking any one individual.”
That’s not how Hancock sees it.
“When I took this job, I didn’t anticipate the smear tactics and the personal attacks that I’ve seen,” he said. “But I have thick skin. On a broader note, those tactics may be backfiring, because nobody wants to politicize college football. Folks who love this game don’t want the kind of political slash-and-burn that you see in Washington, D.C. So I’m not sure their political campaign tactics will work.”
Follow Fred Frommer on Twitter: http://twitter.com/ffrommer
By Steve King
- 'Pocket drones': U.S. Army developing tiny spies for the next big war
- Rahm Emanuel: Send illegal immigrant shelter kids to Chicago
- U.S. evacuates embassy in Libya amid violent clashes between militias
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Obama: U.S. should 'embrace an economic patriotism that says we rise or fall together'
- Ted Nugent loses second casino gig for 'racist remarks'
- EDITORIAL: Obama's 'economic patriotism' means higher taxes
- Ohio university quiz implies atheists are naturally smarter than Christians
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq