Classic Dummocrats - Why college football is better than the NFL (this time it's Big Ten styled!)
(editor's note - this post was originally written way back in the summer of 2005. I've added an eleventh reason college football is so awesome and did just a little editing. Hope you all enjoy it and are ready for some football!)
With August, my thoughts, and the thoughts of many of my fellow Americans, turn to football. Ah, glorious football. It's the only thing that makes the end of summer bearable, especially if you're a Milwaukee Brewers fan (seriously? 19-4? are you kidding me??). While Americans love their football, what do we love more? college football or the NFL. For me, it's a no brainer, and here's (in honor of the Big Ten) 11 reasons why:
11. The team truly represents me. I love Brett Favre, but he didn't choose to become a Green Bay Packer. The Packers chose him. Every Wisconsin Badger, on the other hand, chose the University of Wisconsin. I have that in common with each member of the team. It's a bond we'll always share. A guy like Ron Dayne has bounced from team to team throughout his pro career, but he'll always be a Badger, just like me.
10. Every game matters. When your team loses on Sunday, it's bad, but it doesn't destroy your season. On Saturdays, however, a loss is almost always devastating. College football may not have a playoff at the end of the season, but each game does have a playoff atmosphere.
9. Location. Location. Location. With the notable exception of Green Bay, the NFL is only in big cities. It shares the scene with all of the other thousands of events going on in that city. Big time college football, on the other hand, is often played in small cities. In those cities, gameday is everything and the electric atmosphere reflects that. I cannot wait to have a $5 can of beer in the Big Ten Pub's beer garden. The first 9 AM gameday beer is the 2nd best beer of the year. The best beer of the year is the first one you get to drink outside in the spring.
8. There is no "I" in team. Sportwriters wax poetic about what a "team" the New England Patriots are. In the NFL, the team concept has become a novelty. Too many players are all about themselves (I don't necessarily blame them, but it is a fact). In college, the team is still what's most important. Players don't play for a bigger contract the next season. They play to win.
7. Permanence. NFL teams can pack up in the middle of the night and leave town. The Ohio State University will always be in Columbus.
6. One man can make a difference. In the pros, a truly great coach can maybe get a winning record out of a subpar team. Maybe. At the end of the day, the caliber of players a coach can get depends on how much money a team has to spend. In college, a great coach can inherit a bad program and make a huge difference through both recruiting and coaching. Exhibit #1 - Pete Carroll.
5. Gameday. Even if you don't care about the teams, it's fun to watch ESPN's Gameday when it goes on campus. There's no pro equivalent to it, just like there's no pro analyst as cute as Kirk Herbstreit or as weird as Lee Corso.
4. Mascots & Cheerleaders. The Big Ten alone has the likes of Bucky Badger and Sparty the Spartan. The NFL has, uh, I don't think they have any. The NFL has spandex-clad skanky cheerleaders who pose in lingerie calendars. College has fresh-faced girls who still actually carry pom-pons. You just know that NFL cheerleaders are just an application away from an appearance on a sleazy reality show.
3. Rivalries. The NFL does have some great rivalries like the Packers vs. the Bears. But college football has hundreds of great games. And they make a big deal out of it. The games have names like the "Iron Bowl", the "Holy War", the "Egg Bowl" and the "Border War". Teams play for trophies like Paul Bunyan's Axe, the Golden Egg and the Indian War Drum.
2. Traditons. There's absolutely no NFL equivalent to college football traditions like dotting the "I" in Ohio State, Wisconsin's Fifth Quarter & Jump Around and Texas A&M's 12th man. Even when your team is having an off year, you can hold on to these traditions that make the games far more special than a typical Sunday matchup between, let's say, the Carolina Panthers and the Jacksonville Jaguars.
1. Marching Bands. Pro stadiums can pump in all the loudest, hippest tunes they want and it still won't beat hearing 120 plus geeky kids in the marching band play "On Wisconsin", "Hail to the Victors" or the Notre Dame Victory March. NFL teams don't even have songs, much less songs that are frequently played at their fans' weddings.
I love pro football and I think the NFL is by far the best pro league. College football just has that little bit of extra something that makes it a whole different ballgame.
Posted by at August 9, 2007 08:08 AM
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|# August 10th, 2007 7:41 PM themandownthehall|
|This is one of the reasons I like this blog. Well written and right on the money Kris. There really is something better about the college game.
Either that, or being that my pro team is the Detroit Lions, the college game is just better played... Seriously how much worse playing can you get than the Lions...
Oh and to end this on a funny note, Kitna, the Lions QB has said they will win at least 10 games this year! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Dang, no matter how many times I write that, it's still funny!
Have a good night!
|# August 10th, 2007 8:33 PM themandownthehall|
|I think I posted this one here in comments before. I'm not sure. It captures another reason college football is better than the pros. Passion. Fans absolutely live and die with their favorite college teams. And as Kris said, every game matters, so the emotions run real high. This is a video of a guy who is a major Penn State fan and hates UM to death. It is his reaction to the 27 to 25 Michigan win over Penn State where UM won on the very last play and put the only blemish on Penn States record. Basically, it ruined PSU's season. They precede the football loss with about a minute of this guy (he's drunk off his rear) telling how they will win and all. Warning, there is some pretty liberal use of the F-word, especially after the touchdown. Even funnier, he was also a Notre Dame fan and ND lost to SoCal late in the game too. What a glorious weekend that was...
Of course, I laugh at this, but I can relate. ND and OSU have put me into some pretty funny rages...
Can't wait for kickoff. 3 weeks away!