Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, which premiered worldwide in the Summer of 1999, was met almost immediately with harsh treatment from critics and fans alike, much of it aimed at the loathsome, computer-generated character, Jar Jar Binks. Weeks later, the far-superior animated classic, South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut, hit theatres and included a brief, but memorable send-up of the ridiculous Binks.
''We saw the first Phantom trailer way back in January. We were like, 'This is the new Ewok! This is what's going to ruin the new movie!'''
I experienced a similarly prescient moment earlier this week upon reading about the NCAA's new "targeting" rule.
For those who may be unfamiliar with this rule change, USA Today describes it as "a rule automatically ejecting players who target and contact defenseless players above the shoulders."
"So that's how they'll try to ruin Penn State this year."
I don't know about you, but the words "judgement call" appearing in the same sentence with "Big Ten officials" makes my skin crawl. Who believes that handing referees an opportunity to dramatically impact the outcome of a game (or games) via a rule that treads far afield in gray area and is couched in the theme of "player safety" will end well for the Nittany Lions? As far as I'm concerned, we're looking at a matter of "when," not "if." In fact, I am already getting preemptively angry about it, so that when the inevitable actually occurs, and someone like Barnes or Amos gets sent to the showers for a hit like this one*, I'll actually be well into the process of calming down about it and won't lose my mind in fury.
Looking at the 2013 football schedule, I am setting the over/under for how many games it takes a Big Ten official to railroad Penn State using this terrifying new power at 6 1/2. Basically it comes down to a question of: Do they screw us before/during the Michigan game, or after?
So I put it you, the degenerate gambling-minded BSD community - how long must we wait before our beloved Lions suffer the "Vince McMahon/David Stern" treatment? Will the refs, unable to contain their fervor, send a player packing right out of the gate, influencing the Syracuse game or spoiling the home opener? Maybe they will look to urinate right into our Homecoming Cheerios when the Wolverines come to town. Or perhaps they will put us through weeks of cringing restlessness, like Barney Stinson waiting for the other "Slap Bet" shoe to drop, holding back for the perfect moment to inflict maximum damage.
What say you?
*Since no one got injured on this play, it's funny because, Michigan.