Recently I’ve had some discussions with some friends on the subject of pro vs college football. And by that I mean, which do you prefer. While this sounds like and is a discussion that has been had while drinking many beers (and it has), I think it’s also an interesting question.
Before I jump into the debate and present my thoughts on both side, I’ll provide a disclaimer – I am not from a college town nor am I from a major city that had professional sports teams. I love both levels of the sport and will watch either if it is on TV. My breakdown is not just about the product on the field. I’m including it all. Also, I’m going to rant and ramble, so buckle up kids and let’s get to it.
What can be said about the best damn sport being played by the best athletes at the highest level? It’s so fast. The players are so skilled and so big. It’s the best of the best. Take the best of college football, filter out the crap and serve on the biggest stage every week for 17 (plus playoffs) weeks! It’s also a business. Free-agency, hold-outs and salary cap issues all play into it. Loyalty just isn’t there. Not from management and not from players. Both just want their bank accounts filled.
The passion for the sport is there for many of the players, but for some reason we still see these “star” players play like loafs after they get that massive contract. Let’s not forget the 24/7 access to these athletes and their maturely (or lack thereof) coming through in every
TMZ ESPN story. Some are absolutely class acts and use their fame for good and lay every single thing they have on the line each and every Sunday.
So what do we have? The best of the best playing at the highest level, but it’s such a big business that it can quickly become ugly and annoyingly too much…
It is home to one of the most wonderfully disastrous systems currently in sports. The BCS is so bad it leaves thousands and thousands of fans across the country screaming about “who is #1?!” without bringing a solid answer many time. A playoff is coming, but I’m sure it will be a few years and we’ll be screaming about that system. It’s a business at the top level and money and deals are kept under the training table, you know, where it can do the most damage to the next coach and players after you’ve blotted for the pros.
That said, it is a glorious game! Players play for the pride of their school and for such a small chance to possibly win that National Championship. Currently, every single game is the biggest game of the season. Of course, that leads many of the “powerhouse” teams to schedule cupcake FCS teams which don’t help the game. The fandom is so deep and rabid, it’s hard to imagine there is anything else happening in the world on a Saturday afternoon in the Fall. I’ve been to many a pro and college game, and to be completely honest, there is no other experience quite like game day in a college town when your team is making a push for the BCS.
So what do we have here? When two evenly matched teams play on that perfect fall Saturday – you have (what I think is) the pure version of the sport. It might be all dirty behind the scenes, but the passion for the sport and the school is like nothing else.
To me, it’s all about the college game. Don’t get me wrong. I love the pro game. This is like asking me if I want $5,000,000 or $4,999,999.99 handed to me right now. I’m also completely drunk on the season the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are having, so maybe that’s playing into it. It’s been amazing. Of course, they haven’t won anything yet (except for going 12-0). When the Buccaneers went to and won the Super Bowl, I had an absolutely blast being a fan, but this season for the Irish has been beyond that.
So enough of me rambling aimlessly about college vs pro football. I could have added another 40 paragraphs, but I figured I would spare all of you. So, what do you think? You could love both, as I do, but if you could have only one, which one would you pick.
As always, thank you for reading…