High schools shouldn't 'rest up' for playoffs


By Troy Oppie

This week's 'The Good, The Bad & The Oppie' features Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson talking Boise State football, a tremendously unsportsman-like decision by two Utah high school football teams and the newest sponsor of a bowl game.

The Good:

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is best known as the former WWE wrestler-turned-actor, but before all that he was a major piece of defensive success for the University of Miami football team. In a recent publicity interview for his latest movie, Johnson talked Boise State football - specifically what the Broncos have done by tying the Hurricane record of 58 straight wins at home.

"That is an incredible feat to accomplish," Johnson said. "We were very, very proud of that record. [It] was ten years in the making - and that is a lot of ***-kickings to hand out on your home field."

Spoken in true 'Rock' fashion.

The Bad:

I have no problems being a little late to this party - nearly every media outlet in Utah has already skewered two local high schools for cancelling the regular season finale to 'rest up' for the first round of the playoffs. Two weeks ago, Mountain Crest coach Mark Wootton and Springville High School coach Scott Mitchell (former Utah Ute and Detroit Lion) agreed to cancel the non-conference game last week because, as Wootton told the Salt Lake Tribune, "We just felt with the playoffs getting close, try to get our kids healthy for that."

ARE YOU KIDDING? Of the trillion things wrong with this - maybe the worst is the unfair advantage the "bye" week could give those two programs over every other team which did the right thing and finished its season on the field regardless of the regular season finale's meaningfulness.

Not only was this decision completely unsportsmanlike, it robs each team of a chance to get its younger players experience in a game situation, robs fans and everyone else who participates (and loves) Friday nights. As a former marching band geek - I relished every chance I got to play at games and put on a show at halftime.

If the unfair advantage isn't the worst of this situation - the worst would certainly be that the Utah high school athletic association stood by and let this happen, ultimately doing nothing more than a collective shrug of the shoulders because the schools did nothing illegal and something that has happened before. Precident isn't set when travel or legitimate health concerns (communicable diseases et al) force a game to be canceled.

The UHSAA should reprimand both coaches (and school administrators which signed off on the decision) and change the rules to make sure this never happens again - and other states should take notice of this situation and alter rules to ensure it doesn't happen anywhere else.

The Oppie:

New ridiculous Bowl Game sponsors for college football: The GoDaddy.com Bowl will take place in Mobile, Alabama, former home of the GMAC Bowl. Sponsors are great and these games can't happen without them anymore, but reading through some of the names of this year's 35 bowl games just makes me laugh.

The Beef 'O' Brady Bowl? Advocare V100 Bowl? I could go on, but I won't. and you should thank me for that.

See you next week.

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