Goalposts and a Jackass

November 22, 2005

It's been over a week since I mentioned college football here, so we're long overdue.

I've enjoyed just about every LSU game this season, particularly the overtime wins over Alabama and Auburn. The Bama win is a fresh memory. The Auburn win will go down in history as "the missed field goal game."

I have an unfortunate tell, which immediately makes apparent to anyone listening to me the fact that I'm full of bullshit. That's the only reason that I can't make this claim convincingly:


When I was an Electrical Engineering senior at LSU, we started a project where we would put circuits in the goal posts of the football stadium. These circuits would be able to use electricity and magnetism to crate a force on footballs, which could divert a poorly kicked ball away from the posts, making it more likely that a kick would miss.

Any of you have had 10 conversations with me in the last two years has already closed his browser, having heard this story to the point of nauseam. But, if you look back at the games, it really seems plausible.

Perhaps the H-shaped goals are the problem.

What are the real reasons for such poor field goal kicking?

  • Does the H-shape of the goal posts confuse or bother kickers?

  • Is it the fact that the turf is often in poor condition in Tiger Stadium? In this year of no muddy games, we host an additional slate of NFL and college games due to the storm, so the turf has taken a beating.

  • Is it simply the fact that college kickers in general, and LSU kickers in particular aren't all that great?

I'm not sure about the answers, but I can make up the bullshit.

At least I'm aware of the fact that it doesn't fly when I make up a story. I had a coworker once upon a time who loved to make up self-glorifying stories, and who was just as bad -- if not worse -- a bullshitter as me.

Unfortunately, this guy wasn't blessed with the awareness of his own inability to shovel crap. Therefore, he was known far and wide as someone to be disliked and mistrusted.

He kept a large photo of himself and his wife on his desk, where he wore some military uniform that included a big "Smokey the Bear" hat. It was the funniest desk photo in the office.

One day, I put that photo up in the center of a filing cabinet surrounded by some burning candles and a stick of unlit incense. The ridiculous photograph deserved its own little alter. I'm sure you had to see it, but the "Smokey the Bear" alter was high comedy.