Nothing Redeems A Bad Football Game Like Huge Piles Of Snow
3:24 PM EST on November 17, 2022
It's been years since MACtion was an actual thing, the code for a brilliant idea by the Mid American Conference to capture off-brand Tuesdays and Wednesdays to get out of the way of the bigger college football conferences and display its varying degrees of virtue to an audience that can't be satisfied with Mesomorph Saturdays.
The novelty wore off years ago, though, and the MAC hasn't produced a lot of did-you-see-that magic in years. MACtion is quaint but slightly outdated audience catcher, a cavalcade of directionals playing in earnest despite no longer reaching the lofty level of "Also Receiving Votes."
But there is still one surefire way to gather an audience for an even battle between 4-7 stalwarts like Central Michigan and Central Michigan ... OK, Western Michigan. The time-honored ADIS game.
Ass Deep In Snow.
Nothing makes for better football entertainment than calf-deep snow drifts, even the futile attempts of groundskeepers to plow the grounds to make the field seem less like the Nunavut Provincial Zoo. Few enough people know let alone care that there is such a thing as the Victory Cannon, let alone that this is a thing Central and Western have been playing for since, get this, way back in 2008. But if you put players on a field that swallows their feet, you've got what MACtion was meant to be.
The problem, here, is that people got in the way and got rid of the snow at halftime, and the game reached a chilled but otherwise unstirred conclusion with this as the highlight—a safety that insured WMU's 12-10 victory.
But winning and losing isn't the point here. Playing in the ungodly is. Football people rarely understand that when nature goes to the trouble of giving you mountains of barely passable iceberg-ettes, you don't eradicate them just so that Sean Tyler can rush for 177 yards or that the game can end on a run-of-the-mill interception by the very not run-of-the-mill-named Keni-H Lovely. The drifts are there to make things better, not fairer, and the fetish of quality of play must sometimes be abandoned for the sake of the greater good. And no, finding out what 4-7 team can take home a thing nobody even bothered to imagine 20 years ago is never the greater good.
The hilarious amount of snow was placed there by the galactic pixies to make an inconsequential game potentially memorable, an homage to the grand old days of MACtion, when Wednesday Night Football was a true novelty. Weather is a thing only football truly embraces, and if it means human beings cannot achieve their athletic zenith for one evening, well, tough darts, Bosco. You want fair playing conditions, get recruited by Coastal Carolina, and not during hurricane season. And if you watched the game because you thought you wanted to keep track of your MAC parlay and took Central, well, you addressing your problem by finding a meeting might be more important than you cashing, which you probably wouldn't have done anyway because none of the other Wednesday favorites covered either.
No, this was a game that needed to be left alone to its own preposterous devices. It didn't need fixing, it needed nourishing. It needed a bunch of slow-motion runs and absurd quarterback statistics and 13 turnovers and field goals that the kicker can't make because he never saw where the ball was spotted. That would have gotten way more national play than Western 12, Central 10, and the MAC, which is about to be weaseled off into an even less reachable shelf in the college football closet as the big dogs finish eating all the smaller cuts of meat and turn on themselves in a festival of cannibalism that ends with Nick Saban and Jimbo Fisher naked except for barbecue bibs and grilling forks, needs reasons for people to bother. The Victory Cannon is not the way. Weather can do that, though, and arse-deep snow definitely does. What we needed was someone with vision to tell the guys on the plows, Listen, let's leave the field be and worry about the parking lot. Even the lunatics who came to this game have to get home at some point.
Besides, you think Keni-H Lovely wouldn't have a much better story to tell his grandkids? About that time he intercepted the last pass of the game by fighting off a bear? He'd be an annual highlight, he'd make Kirk Herbstreit weep in admiration, and his name would resonate in lower Michigan long after the end of the debate about whether the 99th-ranked team in the country is actually better than the 114th.
Additional note: Three to six feet of "thundersnow" are expected for Buffalo this weekend, and those candies at the NFL are looking into moving the Browns-Bills game. They are cowards and swine and the nation hates them. Worse, Bills fans hate them because they are ready to handle mastodons to jump through picnic tables. If Central and Western Michigan can do this, Buffalo can do this. Think of the children, especially the ones at home who are looking at global warming ruining all their winters forever more.