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Why College Football is More Fun than the NFL
College Footbal vs Pro Football - Which do you Prefer?
There are certainly many issues in the world of college football these days - from sexual scandals to booster payments to player arrests. Throw in a low graduation rate, a playoff debate, seemingly hundreds of corporate sponsored bowl games, and it might be hard to comprehend the popularity of college football. I'm a big fan of the sport of football, no matter what the level or who is playing. But there is nothing better than a college football game on a crisp, sunny fall afternoon. Here are some of the reasons I love it.
Tradition - There is so much pomp and circumstance before, during, and after a college football game. The minimum requirement is to at least wear your favorite school's colors. But many take it so much further - tailgating grills painted with the school's mascot, car horns that play the fight song, face painting and funny hats. Not to mention the desecration of the opposing team's mascot, particularly when the mascot is edible. Think roasted pig at the LSU/Arkansas game or grilled Bevo burgers at Kansas State/Texas. With fight songs and chants that have lasted for decades, college football provides a source of pride and recall of fond memories for alumni as well as local residents of the college town, whose biggest industry is most likely the university. With crazy student sections boasting bare chested, handpainted, front row, camera attention craving fans and 75 year old couples who have attended every home football game for 50 years, there is something for everyone that somehow stands the test of time and is passed along from generation to generation. There are a few smaller NFL markets that rival college football atmospheres game in and game out, like Green Bay, but they are the exception.
Innocence - OK, I admit that's too strong of a word. College football is a huge money maker for some schools and a 310 lb linebacker is hard to think of as "innocent". But these are kids, and most know that they have no shot at going pro. They play for a scholarship or the attention or simply for the love of the sport and the comraderie. But for most college players, football is not a business proposition. It is still a game - a game they grew up watching in their hometown with their dad or neighborhood buddies on Saturday afternoons.
Every Game Matters - In the NFL, half of the season is over before the games start to matter. In college, every game counts towards the final rankings at the end of the year. From the creampuff blowout win at the start of the season that may signal an opportunistic schedule to the bitter rivals - OU/Texas or Michigan/Ohio State - and inner state pride games - Alabama/Auburn or Florida/Florida State, every Staurday holds several games that will impact the rankings and the outcome for your favorite team, even if they're in a different conference.
The passion and pride of college football is, in my opinion, unrivaled. Is it September yet?