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Let's Tackle The Question Of A Football Program At PCC.

TO BE RESOLVED: Should Pima College have a football program?

Pima is an institution of higher learning, serving a diverse student body which numbers in the tens of thousands and has an average age of over 30. It is a far-flung empire with branches throughout Pima County. Furthermore, the cost of simply starting such a program would be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Taking all that into account, the answer is obvious: OF COURSE PIMA SHOULD HAVE A FOOTBALL PROGRAM! How can they ever expect anybody to take them seriously without a football team?

It is Pima COLLEGE, isn't it? It's not like Pima Trade School or Pima Community School of Design.

I live near Green Fields Country Day School on the northwest side of town. Green Fields is a quaint little enclave for the children of dentists and lawyers in grades 4-12. It's been around since 1933 and something like 104 percent of its graduates go on to college. (Some go to more than one college at a time just to show off.)

I love Green Fields. The school boasts nice people, good students, and a cool gymnasium. However, during the fall, they make their kids play soccer! I've called Child Protective Services, but they just shrug and say soccer in and of itself is not abuse. Damn liberals!

Anyway, the folks at Green Fields will probably never get proper accreditation without a football team. Although the actual formula is top secret, I've been told that in order to get accreditation, you have to have so many calculus classes, so many teachers with advanced degrees, a large enough physical plant to support the student body, blah, blah, blah.

All that stuff added together comes out to 49.9 percent of the grade. Football is the other 50.1 percent. All those smart people at Green Fields and they can't figure that part out. The same goes for Pima.

A long time ago, I went to Cochise College in Douglas on a basketball scholarship. I wasn't very good, butäwell, we'll just leave it at that. However, basketball scholarship in hand, I bulked up a bit during the summer so that I could walk on the football team and then play my way down to my basketball weight.

When I got to Cochise, they told me they didn't have a football team. Naturally, I didn't believe them. I thought they were lying to me because I told them I was white and played defensive back.

I'd go out behind the gym on Saturday nights just to check. I'd even drive into Douglas and Bisbee to see if they played their home games there. But after several weeks, I realized that they really didn't have a football team. I ended up playing that entire basketball season at my football weight and I've had a weight problem ever since.

I'll do anything to see to it that no other kid has to go through that situation. Oh sure, we could probably teach multi-sport athletes proper nutrition and eating habits. But why bother? It would be so much easier to just start a football program at Pima.

Currently, the league consists of Arizona Western in Yuma, Eastern Arizona in Thatcher, a few schools in the Phoenix area, three schools in Utah, and one in Idaho. I'm sorry, but that lineup absolutely screams for a team in Tucson.

Just think, you go to the UA game on a Saturday afternoon, one of those ungodly 12:30 starts to accommodate ABC-TV. You get burned by the sun, burned by the concessions people, then burned by the Cats who lose to Oregon State or some other sorry team when Ortege Jenkins tries to break the record for longest pass thrown into double-coverage.

Bummed out, you think about heading home and plopping down in front of the TV to watch the 17 other games that will be on later that day. But wait! Pima's in town and they're playing that night out at the West Campus!

(Somebody speculated that the football team would operate out of the East Campus and play at Santa Rita High. Balderdash! We'll build up the West Campus and make the soccer team go play at Santa Rita. That's the natural order of things.)

So, instead of heading home, we hang around downtown and the new, improved Downtown Saturday Late Afternoon. At that time of day, the temperature will be nice and we'll have the added bonus of being able to spot the panhandlers approaching at a great distance.

We hang out downtown, BOOST THE LOCAL ECONOMY!, wonder what the hell they're actually going to do with the refurbished Fox Theater, then head west on Anklam to watch our own Pima College Conquistadors take on the Marauding Caucasians from Snow, Utah.

(I know the mascot used to be Aztecs, but if we want this thing to be successful, we have to go with the winners all the way down the line. Sure, the Aztecs could spill blood, but it was mostly that of their own young women. Big whoop.)

I'd be glad to spearhead this movement, but I ask only one thing in exchange. NO MORE PIMA COLLEGE CAMPUSES! I went to return a video the other day and I walked into the Blockbuster Video and River/La Cañada Branch of Pima College. They have one south of Green Valley with a sign that reads: "Last chance for Pima College before entering Santa Cruz County." It's ridiculous.

Phoenix has six different junior colleges. It's time Tucson had at least two. Competition for students would only make Pima better.

Plus, that way, someday we could have two JC football teams!

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