How a Football Game Can Be Corked


It's happened too many times to remember, and the disappointment is always piercing, but you learn to move on. A bottle of wine--a special one, maybe it's very old, maybe you carried it back in your suitcase from France, maybe it's very expensive. You save it for a special occasion. You dust it off and present it to your guests. You remove the foil, savoring every moment of the process, licking your lips in anticipation. And then you pop the cork and get a whiff. Damn, it's corked. Nothing you can do about it. Have to move on.

That's what happened at the BCS National Championship Game last night. I hadn't been to a football game in a decade, but had an opportunity to come down to Pasadena to support my Texas Longhorns. I was so excited. And then, after all the build up, the game turned out to be corked. Texas star quarterback and top runner, Colt McCoy, was injured on the fifth play of the game, knocked out by a freak hit, the kind of hit he's taken he says, "millions of times." And that was it. The game was corked. It was over. Tainted. Never able to live up to its promise.

This is why I've certainly gotten behind screwcaps and other closure alternatives to cork--at least until the cork industry figures it out. It's just too disappointing to lose an entire bottle of wine to a defective piece of bark stuck in the neck. As for football--there's nothing you can really do. It was bad luck. I did have a good time up until the game got underway. With some old Austin, TX buddies, I drank Shiner Bock for nostalgia and tequila before walking through Pasadena to the Rose Bowl. I sort-of tailgated with some people we met in the parking lot, drinking Bud Light out of a cooler in the trunk of their sedan. And then the game started. Corked. Damn.

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