Many compare the National Football League (NFL) with college football but the two are not extremely similar and should never be compared. Yes, besides a few minor rule changes the NFL and college football are the same game; but there is much more to football then the rules. College football is better than the NFL for a wide variety of reasons. First, there exists more passion in college football all around the sport. Passion cannot be measured in anyway but can be observed and understood by the fans, coaches, and sports community. Players care more about the game and less about money, while the fans have great passion for the university they attend or attended.
The lack of an influence money has on the game is admirable. Also, tradition is so vast in college football a game day experience cannot be compared with those of the NFL. The special rivalry games and in stadium events makes college football great. Rivalries, passion, playing rules, and timing are few of the reasons why college football is better than the NFL. Along with great activities like tailgating, the wonderful scheduling, the entertainment, and the comeback friendly rules college football has the best case for why it is levels above the NFL.
Passion is sought after in all sports, and is the most apparent in college athletics. Money determines everything in pro football and the large impact it has is just too obvious. The same cannot be said for college football. The great passion and emotion seen in players and coaches, and their loyalty to their team helps make college football a lovable game. The football team at a university represents the town, the state, and what the community stands for. College football players are said to be passionate, play hard, hard workers, and fearless. NFL players are most known for complaining and not wanting to be hit hard. There is passion in every play and intensity like no other in college football. It is just a drag watching the NFL because most of the time there is no passion, it’s just guys playing for that next paycheck (Fisher).The fact that the student athletes play for opportunity and the love of the game is invigorating to all sport fans. College football has been said to be more pure of a game.
This means they play for the chance to make the league, and are about the game. Another reason passion is more reflected in college football is the lack of salary related hold outs. This refers to the many major star athletes who have large contract disputes and skip on camp and all team activities until they are paid more money. Players risk team success for selfish personal reasons. Prime examples of a player negatively affecting a team with a hold out are Albert Haynesworth, Terrell Owens, Michael Crabtree, Maurice Jones-Drew, Chris Johnson, and many more. These players put personal motives over team goals; it is inferred that the star athletes prefer money over team success. There has never been one single hold out in college football. Historically players in contract years have shown just a little more effort to ensure they make a few extra dollars when their pay days come around (Eliesen). Stats go up and so does the amount of work put in.
This shows that players give more effort when money is on the line. The impact money has on the NFL makes college football that much better. Another issue with the money influence of the NFL is players will switch teams for more money, wins, or a bigger market. Not just some players, all players. In college you can transfer for academic or personal reasons but there are consequences. In 2010-11, 6.4 percent of Division I student-athletes transferred from one four-year school to another four-year school. Included in that figure are 969 football student-athletes.
All of those student-athletes were required to sit out a year of competition (NCAA). In the NFL it is expected that a player would turn their back on their team and city for more money or a better personal opportunity. In college it is discouraged, frowned upon, and penalized against. The players passion for the game, loyalty to their teams, and absents of holdouts and other money related issues are the start of a long list of reasons why college football is better than the NFL. The passion shows the college players are about the game, not the money.
The tradition of college football is unlike that of any sport. The significance of it is immeasurable. To start college football has outstanding rivalry games. They are better than the NFL rivalry games simply because they have existed longer, are closer games, in a larger variety, and the fans and schools hate each other more. Classic examples include Army versus Navy, the iron bowl, Ohio State versus Michigan, USC versus Notre Dame, Miami versus FSU, The red river rivalry, the civil war, the dual in the dessert, the world’s largest cocktail party, LSU versus Alabama, and several others. Compare that with Dallas against Washington; the best rivalry in the NFL. Not a comparison. Every team in college football has a rival. Iowa State has Kansas State. Indiana has Illinois. Baylor has Texas Tech. Cincinnati has Louisville.
It’s not what you think of when you think Auburn/Alabama, Ohio State/Michigan and Texas/Oklahoma, but even the lesser-known powers have rivals that riles up the fan bases. The NFL? I challenge you to name the Carolina Panthers’ top rival (Wilson).The atmosphere surrounding the towns and the great rivalry games out perform the NFL’s weak rivalry match ups. Next, fans have more to route for in college. The fact that the students and alumni get to support the place they graduated from cannot be matched. For NFL fans most of them root for the city’s team you were born in. For college football fans the team you cheer for could be across the nation because you had a family member go there or your family has always cheered for them. For college football fans it doesn’t matter what city you live in (Fisher).
Good examples of great tradition are Oregon’s uniforms, dotting the I in Ohio, Chief Osceola, war eagle, Howards rock, the dog UGA, and the play like a champion today sign in South Bend. Literally, 100 more traditions could be named. Traditions such as those just don’t exist in the NFL. There isn’t the same level of tradition in the pro game (Killoren). Stadiums, fight songs, bands, and the college campus on game day, pep rallies, are all things that are just not seen in professional football. The tradition in college football is evident and changes the game completely. Most importantly the strong and vast group of rivalry games in college makes the NFL division games appear as friendly competition.
A main reason why college football is better than the NFL is because in college the timing in all around better. By the timing, I mean the rules that influence the time and the scheduling. College football starts a week earlier which means over 120 division one college games have been played before the NFL starts. College football has more games in general and starts off football season right. Next, is Saturdays are better for watching and playing football than Sundays. Nobody wants to go to work the day after a crazy game. People need Sunday to relax after a crazy tailgating and game experience. To me, there’s nothing better than going to bed on Friday night knowing that you have nothing to do on Saturday except watch college football. Even if you find a few hours to watch your favorite NFL team, you still have it hanging over your head that it’s back to work in the morning. That feeling always tends to take the wind out of my sails (FanNation).
Who wants to be out late on a Sunday night at a prime time game? How about Saturday? There is a big difference between the two. During bowl season we get to see 35 prestigious match ups of team with winning records in solid football games over a 23 day period. Right over the holidays when everyone has school and work off there is football on every day. This is set up nicely for viewers. Seniors get a last chance to represent themselves and their school in the bowl game that they have worked so hard to earn. Lastly, college has comeback friendly rules that the NFL do not have. Stopping of the clock on a first down, one foot in bounds for a catch, chains must be set before clock starts, and clock stopping all game when you get out of bounds keep college games entertaining and help you see more action.
According to a Wall Street Journal study of four games from week 16, the average NFL game features just 10 minutes 43 seconds of action (Chase). The comebacks that have determined champions and the outcome of high profile games are because of the comeback friendly rule book of college football. College football is more entertaining than the NFL for many reasons but bowl season, the comeback friendly rules, Saturdays over Sundays, and the extra week of football are just some vital examples.
The pregame activities, tailgating, the more logical football rules such as overtime standards, and ESPNs outstanding coverage give college an extra edge on professional football. College game day travels to the biggest game of the week and perform a 3 hour special on campus live in front of an audience with different guest stars, storylines, and gimmicks each week. Hands down NFL Countdown can’t compete with College Gameday (Fisher). Also, college goal line which updates all the score nationwide is very popular around the country. In college football the sport is played the right way. If a player hits the ground he is down, in the NFL he can get back up and run if not touched. This leads to many missed calls and slows down play. The overtime rules are better in college because you can’t tie. Yes, in the NFL there is the terrible possibility of a tie. Also, each time gets a chance and the better team is awarded the victory.
In the NFL it’s more about the coin flip than the play. Parties on campus, pep rallies, and fun halftime events like the famous Dr. Pepper challenge are great add ons to college football. The college life sparks parties and pep rallies. Some schools even cancel classes the day before a big game. Students camp out to get tickets and great scenes like that are noticed all around the country. The weekend gives students a break. What more would students want to do than party and route on their schools football team. Lastly, tailgating is bigger in college football.
Fans have all of the next day to relax so they enjoy their tailgating. Only 30 percent of the tailgaters actually make it inside the stadium. People do not tailgate a week before for an NFL game. College students start tailgating that Sunday or Monday after that last game they just went too (Fisher). College fans take tailgating very serious and make a 3 hour game into a week event in which they can relax, watch football, eat good food, and reunite with friends and family. The activities around college football separate it from the old boring games on Sunday.
College football has passion, traditions, entertainment, and an incredible environment that the NFL lacks. These reasons were choose from a list of 200 reasons college football is better. Upsets, unpredictability, cheer leaders, the Heisman, coaching dynasties, the spread offense, uniforms, new programs, and other reason were not even discussed because college football has such a huge variety of great attributes. This makes college football more appealing to the fans and viewers. Understand that all these reasons build on the case of why college football beats the NFL. Yes, the players are less talented when they are younger. It should have been made clear that the game is about more than this though.
The college players do not only care about money. Love of the game, the tradition, the entertainment, and the rules are a few of the prominent reasons college football is better. However, Most of these reasons cannot be based of scientific facts or stats. The reasons listed are based on what is the best game to watch and support. A personal opinion and judgment is what makes this argument worth demonstrating. It cannot be proven through facts and data but there are numerous reasons that help show the point that is trying to be made. All the evidence is there and all that is left to do is choose what reasons makes college football better than the NFL. There are many to choose from.
Courtney from Study Moose
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