Monday, September 04, 2006

Why I won't give up on college football.

Earlier this evening, I was ready to write a post headed "Why I'm giving up on college football." I had turned on the TV to find Florida State, midway in the first quarter, leading Miami by a field goal. The 'Noles had the ball, deep in their territory, third and ten. The quarterback took the snap, dropped back, and, with good protection, set up and threw a perfect spiral downfield. The receiver was covered, but jumped up, and the ball hit his hands. Of course, it bounced off them and fell into the hands of a Miami defender, who fell to the ground, covering the ball and giving the 'Canes great field position. I didn't want to see the inevitable touchdown, so I turned off the tube while muttering an expletive that made my wife say something negative about my relationship to sports in general.

So it was that I began mentally drafting my explanation of why Miami owns Florida State (If you were a premier prospect, where would you rather spend four or (more likely) five years: beach 'n' bling city USA or a small metropolis in the red clay country that is subject to ice storms in winter and has government and higher education as its principal reasons for being?). And, for my coda; well, it's all just too predictable. Except when you want it to be. (For a contrary example to this rule, see here).

Anyway, I braved myself to check the late score and found the 'Noles with a 13-10 lead late in the 4th. This proved to hold, much to my surprise.

Steel yourselves. There will be more college football rants.

9/7 addendum: Reggie hits me with the "Why bother with the college game when the NFL is so much better?" meme. My short answer is, "acculturation." I got to know football as a child and youth in Florida long before there were Dolphins, Buccaneers or Jaguars. There were, however, Gators, Seminoles, Hurricanes, and even (in those days) University of Tampa Spartans. They were the ones who made the Tampa Tribune Sunday headlines. Of course, there was token coverage of the Giants, Steelers, Browns, Bears and Packers for the benefit of vacationing snowbirds.

I note that Reggie is a Tarheel, meaning he's from a place where college football has always been a poor second cousin to college basketball. It's interesting to note that North Carolina now hosts a first-rate NFL team, but the NBA couldn't succeed there. Maybe there's some kind of inverse relationship. (Yeah, but the Colts and Pacers are both good. OK, something about exceptions that prove rules?)


  1. This is the reason I gave up on college ball. Too often they are bad match ups and blowouts.

    You saw a rare game.

    A 52 to 14 game is no fun which is typical.

    NFL has much closer games and better match ups.

  2. Early on the Hornets sold out every season and led the league for more than two years in attendance.

    The Hornets were owned by what we refer to in the south as trash. There were sex scandals, poor roster changes and demand that the taxpayers build him a new arena. Plus Shinn got wealthy at the expense of taxpayers by milking loopholes in the GI Bill from boomers like us. The town got fed up with him and tried to get Shinn to sell the team.

    Manners and good morals still mattered in Charlotte. So off to riches in New Orleans George went.

    The league didn’t learn the type of franchise that would work in a southern city and gave the nod to the urban hip hop gangster crowd of Johnson. And the taxpayers built an arena for him against their will and vote.

    The city has again said no thanks. Where is the entertainment value of street thugs playing ball?

    College football has never been a tradition here. You can walk up to the gate at Duke during homecoming and buy a good seat and see a bad game.

    We were fed feeds of Nebraska, Notre Dame, Michigan, and UCLA when I was a kid and the every important Alabama-Auburn match up.

    Now the Carolina Panthers are a class act with the exceptions of a few domestic murders early on.

  3. I'll take college ball any day, especially the Big 10. GO HAWKEYES!