I have found a rooting interest for Monday’s College Football Playoff championship game, thanks in large part to the overexuberance of one of the head coach’s children — which is a misnomer because this “child” is a grown, married adult.

Normally, I wouldn’t even care. The CFP has lost any sort of appeal with me because I’m sick of seeing the same four or five teams play for the national title. Remember when everyone, outside of Massachusetts, hated the New England Patriots for seemingly being in the Super Bowl every year? Well, there is the same reaction to Alabama, Ohio State and Clemson — schools that seem to be in the final four every year and a combination of which feature in the title game at the end of every season.


But in this case, all I needed was some bulletin-board material to determine that I will root for Ohio State to beat Alabama — and you can thank Bama coach Nick Saban’s daughter, Kristen Saban Setas, for turning me, and I’m sure a lot of other casual fans, into Buckeyes fans for a day.

Saban Setas had the audacity to type on Twitter, in response to reports that the virus was spreading through the Ohio State team and that the game might be moved to a later date, “If you’re not confident to play then SAY IT. I call BS on the COVID cases. They’re just worried about their QB and want him to have more time to heal. If he’s hurt put in your backup.”

Keep it classy, Kristen. Of course the obligatory non-apology apology came a couple hours after the initial tweet was released, but I don’t think many people bought it, including her always calculating father, who would destroy any of his players who would say something like that in public. It takes a lot of brass to drop any kind of “COVID is an excuse” opinion when millions of people are being diagnosed and hundreds dying every day from the virus.

Ohio State has already taken a lot of grief for even getting to play in the national title game, considering the Buckeyes only played six regular-season games because of COVID-related issues. To now have the opposing coach’s tone-deaf daughter decide to weigh in with her two cents can’t help but motivate Ohio State.

I hope the Buckeyes roll all over the Tide. I don’t think it will happen, but I got to hope for the best.


Well that didn’t last long. The first professional sports series postponed its season Tuesday after a fantastic start to the 2021 season.

OK, it’s the World Surf League that is putting the tour on hiatus because of the ongoing pandemic. This after John John Florence, a Hawaii native and on the short list of best surfers in the world, captured his first Pipe Masters title at the famous Banzai Pipeline break on Oahu’s North Shore in early December. It also saw South Africa’s Tyler Wright get back in the win column after a three-year drought when the two-time world champ downed four-time and reigning world champion Carissa Moore in the Roxy Pro — which started at Honolua before finishing at Pipeline.

A statement on the organization’s website said, “As a result of Hawaii’s suspension of all surfing competitions until further notice, the upcoming Championship Tour (CT) event, the Sunset Open — scheduled for January 19-28, 2021 — and the Big Wave Jaws Championship Pe’ahi have been canceled.”

Canceling the next three events wouldn’t register for most sports fans, but it is a bummer for Northern California surf fans as part of the shutdown includes the Santa Cruz Pro, which was originally scheduled for Feb. 2-12 at Steamer Lane.

While the state of Hawaii may have forced the WSL to cancel the comp at Sunset Beach, it was the WSL itself that decided to cancel the Nor Cal stop.

“The decision to postpone the Santa Cruz Pro, the last planned event of the US leg of the Championship Tour, is based primarily on the surge of COVID-19 cases in California,” the statement said. The tour also cited the amount of time athletes and staff have “Been away from home,” and issues brought on “by the complexities of global travel during the pandemic.”

The WSL expects to resume the tour in April with its Australia and Indonesia stops.

Nathan Mollat can be reached by email: nathan@smdailyjournal.com or by phone: 344-5200 ext. 117.

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