Thursday, September 18, 2008
You read that right. Get ready to get pissed off. Today I'm unleashing all my anger at everyone's favorite pastime, college football. I was going to do this as a week-long, 5 part symposium, but then I figured "what the hell", let's anger up everyone's blood in one day; a no-holds-barred post. Why not just give my faithful one insanely long rant that I've been sitting on for awhile now?
Let me start by saying that I like college football. I don't love it like I do with the NFL, but I like it. It's pretty cool to be on campus (OSU) on the day of a big game just because you can feel the intensity in the air. Of course, it's even better when the Buckeyes lose. But anyway, I know that most of you are already thinking that I don't love college football because my alma mater isn't big time. You may be on to something there, but I disagree. I just think that it is an inferior brand of football. Allow me to explain my lack of infatuation toward the sport of college football:
1. There's no fantasy football. - Ah yes, it's technically not that important to the enjoyment of the game, but it helps out a helluva lot. I can tell you one thing, it's much easier for me to watch two crappy NFL teams play than it is to watch a mid-week Pitt/Rutgers game. Why? Because the NFL provides me with a vested interest to care about the meaningless games. Two 3-9 teams could be playing and I'm glued to the TV because I know that this is going to be the week that Carson Palmer actually does something right and I get fisted out of a fantasy win. College football doesn't have that charm. I am actually in a CF fantasy league and I don't even know who 80% of the guys on my team even play for. And there is the rub...in the NFL, if your team is having a terrible season, at least you have your fantasy teams to fall back on. In college football, if your team sucks...well, where do you go? You could get blackout drunk but when you wake up in the morning, your team still sucks and you're down 80 bucks.
2. Do we really know who the best team is at the end of the year? - I've argued before that I like the BCS. No, not because of what it stands for and how it is executed, but because it grants you plenty of hours of bar room debates. And isn't that what makes being a sports fan so great anyway? Who is the best team? Could we beat them? Are we better than them? We deserve to be there over them. I love it. But I'm not naive. The system is highly flawed. In pro football, the team that is standing at the end (except for last year) is always the best team in the sport. We don't know that at all when the BCS title game is over. It seems like every year different sets of fans are crying that they got screwed and were the best team in the nation. You don't get that whiny, pithy crap from NFL fanbases. The NFL just gives you a bunch of embarrassed Patriots fans running back to their cardboard boxes with their tales between their legs. Do I think that their should be a playoff? Eventually, but it isn't going to happen anytime soon so get over it. And get ready for another winter of not truly knowing who the best team in the nation is. You can take solace in watching the Super Bowl unfold and know that you are actually seeing a true champion.
3. The officiating is ridiculously awful. - Can someone please explain to me why each conference has their own officials? Why can't their be just one group that governs over all of the referees and assigns them to different sites each week (you know, like a Union)? Are you good? Go to the SEC game of the week. Do you suck? You're on MAC and Sun Belt duty for the rest of the year until you can go three seconds without making a terrible call. I mean, seriously, in non-conference matchups, the home team usually gets to have their own conference's officials do the game. How is that fair at all? The visitor's are at a disadvantage before the game even starts! And don't even get me started about the double standards either. Just look at the BS ending of the BYU/Washington game a few weeks back; 15 yards for flinging the ball in the air after scoring on the last play of the game? I think I've seen Chad Johnson give himself oral sex after a TD in the NFL and he wasn't even penalized. Obviously, the Hochuli saga has sullied the NFL this week but other than that, when was the last time that there was any real issue with officials in the pros? Hell, in the Big Ten alone, Stephen "Art Shell Ref" Pamon owed casinos a small fortune and was rumored to be fixing games yet it took the league until this past offseason to fire him. Well done.
4. The finances are completely fucked. - In what was probably one of my best posts ever; a few months back I said that if you root for a big time football factory school, you are not allowed to complain about the Yankees and/or the need for baseball to have a salary cap. They are the same. The BCS conferences have all the money and the resources in the world which keeps the little guy down just like the Yankees and Red Sox and Mets and Cubs do in baseball. So stop being a hypocrite. And there you have another problem...only about 10-12 teams out of 119 have a real shot at winning it all every year. And you know the names of the programs, too, beacuse it's the same damn teams every season. In the NFL, each year every fanbase has hope. Because it's happened before and they think it can happen to them this year. That's the best part about parity. If you had an injury-riddled season the year before, who cares, your luck could change this year. Unless you are a fan of the Lions or Raiders or Chiefs or Bengals or Rams...your life just sucks. I could argue that, with the right breaks that are needed for a run anyway, 12-18 of the 32 NFL teams have a chance to play in the Super Bowl. I like those odds as a fan of a team that straddles that line every year.
5. Televised games are longer than JFK - I appreciate the new rules that start the clock once the ball is spotted, but, my God, the games still take forever. NFL games take 3 hours...period. The college game can last anywhere between 3 hours and the amount of time it takes Mark Mangino to get out of bed each morning. The spread offense has revolutionized the sport but it has also added so much unnecessary length to the games. Incomplete passes suck. College QB's usually suck. College WR's tend to drop passes. Throwing the ball 40-45 times per game in the spread with these three variables sucks. Honestly, I don't have an answer for how the NCAA can change this and help me become less bored, but I would welcome any assistance. I could do without the 4 minute commercials and 3 hour halftime shows, too. Why do you need 20-25 minutes for halftime anyway??? The bands are fucking terrible and just play the same songs. Ooooh, what an amazing rendition of Jesus Christ Superstar! I hope they play it better next week at halftime! You don't go to the games to hear the halftime show, JUST PLAY THE FUCKING FIGHT SONG! But I digress and I'm starting to ramble.
So there you have it. My Fave Five reasons why college football sucks. Don't get me wrong, there are many more things that piss me off about the sport, but these 5 stand out at the moment. This is where it gets tricky because 90% of my readers fall in the other category of loving college/liking pro football. So let me have it. Tell me that I'm being stupid. You're going to be wrong, but like I said on Monday, this blog is now 100% a dictatorship. If you disagree with me, get ready to meet the KGB.