After writing up Alabama’s win over Washington this past football season, several of us in the press box noticed that Clemson was hammering Ohio State, setting up a rematch in the College Football Playoff championship game.
I’m not a fan of rematches, and it showed: “Great. A rematch,” I said with all the enthusiasm of someone told they’ll need a root canal.
One particular reporter with a national website overheard me and seemed stunned by my response: “But it’ll be a great game. And Clemson is the only team that could beat Alabama.”
He was right, of course, on both counts. Perhaps I looked at it as a reporter who was going to have to go back over Alabama/Clemson again and write all the same angles again. He was looking at it as a reporter who would swoop in, write one or two stories, cover what he hoped was an exciting game, and then move on to the next thing.
But I’m still just not a fan of rematches in any sport. Even in the NBA, even though the TV ratings for Cleveland/Golden State, part III, the Finals since 1998 when Michael Jordan won his last title with the Bulls.
Maybe that’s a good formula for the NBA. The 1998 Finals were a rematch, too, between the Bulls and Jazz. And we love to talk about how great the NBA was in the 1980s, but only five franchises made the Finals in that decade. The Lakers played the 76ers and Celtics three times each. They played the Pistons twice. The Celtics played the Rockets twice.
Maybe the best hope for next year is Cleveland/Golden State, part IV. But as for me, I’d really like to some new blood.