Home Hot Topics Man, It’s Hard to Give a Crap About College Football This Year

Man, It’s Hard to Give a Crap About College Football This Year

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In case you missed it, the college football season started this weekend. I watched the game. Because football. But honestly, you didn’t miss anything.

For one, I couldn’t name any of the players. And second, the game was on a blood red field in eastern Washington. Hard to take that seriously.

RoosSkyShot

So real football starts this week with recognizable schools and players, and I gotta admit I’m not as excited as I normally am.

Maybe it’s because I’m old, and rooting for 19 year old kids just makes me feel older.

Maybe it’s because my beloved Michigan Wolverines are closer to a Participation Trophy than the National Championship trophy.

Maybe it’s my nagging hatred for the NCAA and their refusal to admit that their version of “amateurism” is essentially the relationship pimps have with their, um, workforce:

A pimp says: “Go out there and make my money.”

The NCAA says: “Practice hard so ESPN, Fox, CBS, and countless sponsors will pay us billions.”

A pimp says: “Give me that money, and I’ll give it back to you in the form of a crappy apartment and some outfits.”

The NCAA says: “I’ll pay you in a crappy apartment, an education many of you are underqualified for and don’t value, and exposure for a professional career that most of you won’t get.”

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Both players and hookers say: “But I’d rather just have the money to spend on things. I’m earning it after all.”

Pimps say: **smack**

The NCAA says: **sanctions**

…or maybe it’s some combination of those three.

I’m happy that the Ed O’Bannon case was resolved recently with a victory for players, but I’m not sure a $5,000 cap on earnings is different than the NCAA’s $0 cap. Why not let players earn money similarly to amateur Olympic athletes?

That answer is complicated, but it comes down to the NCAA’s desire to keep players broke. And that is a pimp trait if I ever saw one. Money is power to control your situation or leave entirely. And the NCAA (and pimps) have that power and no reason to give it up.

I suppose I’d feel the same way if I had it. It’s much easier to be the evil king than Robin Hood. But it’s getting harder to ignore this inequity.

Martin Luther the King delivered one of my favorite quotes:

“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and contentious stupidity.”

With age and Twitter, I’m having a hard time turning a blind eye to this:

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The store literally put the key to what player it is on top of the sales rack!

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Or consider the 25 versions of “Oregon Football #8 ‘s” jersey offered by Nike. 25 ways to make money!

Of course, that isn’t Heisman contender Marcus Mariota’s jersey, it doesn’t have his name on it!

It’ll be a shame if greed and common sense make me less of a college football fan. Maybe Michigan can get it together so I can sit on the edge of my seat again.

For what it’s worth, I have Florida State repeating as champions. Sorry to Sargent Curse you, Seminoles fans.

Well, that’s not the post I set out to write. What do you think? Are you as into college football (and college sports in general) now as you were years ago?

Hit the comments and let me know!

Comment(15)

  1. I palyed basketball at Nebraska and I only slightly care when I see them on TV and I used to wear that “N”. Seriously, I don’t know how to care anymore. Conversely, I work with some (older) Texas grads that act like schoolgirls when talking about their team. It’s interesting. NCAA will be on as
    Saturday background noise until the new playoffs. They’ll get the ratings
    either way, right?

    The strange thing about exploited as an athlete, (though playing basketball at Neb should tell you how “not great” I was) is that even in retrospect, life was pretty sweet. It’s the only thing I have against the pimp reference. I agree that this doesn’t make it right, but if you have to be
    pimped, (and most of us currently are), it’s good to have a life that costs millions to replicate as an adult.

    I mean, we were broke, but it was the time to be broke and have a sweet life at the same time. You know, that sweet spot of 17 to 22y/o. ….drifts off….sorry. I never starved, digs were sweet, and we had cash (some more than others…that was none of my business tho)

    1. If you played in school, you were good.

      I wouldn’t judge any athlete who felt like their situation was great. Because it is in a lot of ways. I don’t really have the right, not being a D1 athlete after all. That’s just how I see it.

      If you got the cash value of your scholarship + room/board/per diem/etc, would you have preferred that? You could’ve had the same situation…or not if you chose.

      I think that’s what gets under my skin. The idea of trading things for services instead of money.

      1. “If you got the cash value of your scholarship +
        room/board/per diem/etc, would you have preferred that?”

        Great question. I’ll try to answer it by saying that I was
        the perfect example of most college athletes. Most are marginal, playing a minor sport and no money up line in the family aka (REALLY NEEDS THE SCHOLARSHP). Those of us who were aware of our position in the overall sports
        machine really appreciated the free education and the perks…aka food. Plus, let’s be honest, I woulda F(ed) it off and would’nt have learned anything. #younganddumb

        Times have changed. We had no press other than the schools’ press machine. Now that a guy in a closet can make himself relevant, imagine what a marginal athlete at a D1 school could do. I would at least like to see players allowed to make money on how they generate interest on the open market.

        I’ve never understood logo loyalty though. People ask why I
        don’t get more into it and my reply is always…”I didn’t play w/ them %!&&@$.”

  2. First off, I’ll take issue with the statement that “you didn’t miss anything” in the SHSU-EWU game. For starters, it was a pretty entertaining game between two good schools — EWU is probably the favorite to win the AA championship since Craig Bohl left North Dakota State. Secondly, Vernon Adams is one of the nation’s most productive QBs (at any level) and is definitely worth watching.

    To the article: What do I think? I don’t care. I’m given more pause by the playoff and its selection committee than I am by whatever’s going on with the NCAA. Am I as into college football now as I was years ago? Absolutely. I know the NCAA is corrupt. I didn’t know it 20 years ago when I started watching college football. I knew it around 10 or so years ago when realignment started happening and universities/conferences were doing everything they could to get more money and bigger TV contracts. In my mind, nothing’s changed, so there’s no reason to feel any differently about it now than I did then.

    Go Bucks. Beat MichAgain.

    1. My bad. The game was on a red field. It just seemed gimmicky. I’ll admit it was well-played though. The EWU QB was impressive as well.

      Conference realignment definitely turned me off. Still a fan, but Boise State momentarily joining the Big East was the moment I threw my hands up. I couldn’t compartmentalize the business and on-field sides after that.

      If OSU beats Michigan…again…with no QB…I might be out completely, lol.

  3. First thing:
    “I fear I am integrating my people into a burning house.”

    MLK said this a few weeks before he died. Let’s just say, these 17-22 year olds do not want to be treated like professionals. They’re not ready for what’s going to happen when these Boards of Trustees, alumni, and Athletic Directors start treating them like paid employees.

    Second thing:
    I think it’s important to note that you get a scholarship to go to college (total cost of attendance) AND the chance at millions at the professional level. That’s why the pimp reference doesn’t work. (Unless it’s hustle and flow because that white girl really did come up on life when she got promoted to being in charge.) There aren’t any pimps who are like, “Be my prostitute for four years and i’ll make sure you get signed with a talent agency in Los Angeles, California as a motion picture movie star.”

    Third thing:
    Related to the first thing, most of these athletes would take the cash instead of the education quick as hell. Having attended a D1 school, everybody on that team thought they were going to the pros. That was their goal in life and somebody hooked them on that dream when they recruited them to play D1 sports on scholarship. Some 4th string QB believes that this is his year even though he’s the 4th string QB.

    1. Your third point proves the pimp analogy. They sell the kids on a dream, and then “pay” them in everything but money.

      College athletes who chose to get paid would take on added responsibility, but i think that should be their right.

      1. Yea but that’s not the pimp analogy you made but I digress.

        College athletes who choose to get paid become employees. And employees get fired, released, traded and become a product not a person.

        1. There’s only one pimp analogy. I could have added the “Baby I can make you famous” vs “You want to go to the league, right?” parts at the beginning, lol.

  4. I always had a fledgling interest in collegiate athletics and I dont root for a team; namely because im not putting my heart out there for amateurs who make mistakes, crack under pressure, and leave in 3 years (growing up I rooted for Texas and Notre Dame because they were just always on TV so i have a soft spot for them). I watch the big games, and I’ll check out certain players but I don’t live for Saturday afternoons like I used to do.

  5. Speaking from a parent whose son attends a high profile D1 school, I do weigh in on the pros n cons. Yes, my son receives a good education, room/board, spending money. They just added 3 meals a day ( but that’s after the school takes their food money off their allowance first, now he has less money then before). It’s not a “free ride” and I won’t go as far as saying their being Pimped! But the school is only interested if my son can make a catch (healthy or not). Our conversations about his time in college always end and begin on “When you finish school !”These boys are dreamers but their not dumb. They know when they are being snowballed. A lot of them are just happy to be playing competitive football at a college level. Their days start at 7am and ends at 7pm. They work for every cent and college course they receive.

    Also, parents should never depend on anyone (school, coach, media,etc..) to give their sons the basics necessities kids need while attending college. I don’t have a lot of money but I send care packages monthly, pay the cell phone and gas card and make sure his living arrangements are comfortable. I attend games and give him much love from a 1000 miles away. I’m his parent.

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