July 17, 2009
Although the NFL is the most popular sport in the United States of America, there are many features of the college football world that make the NCAA version of the pigskin better. Here are the top nine reasons why college football is better than the NFL:
9. Gameday Saturday's
Having football played on Saturday just feels right doesn't it? It can be a hassle to have to leave work or school on Friday in order to watch a high school game. And Sunday was meant to be our holy day of rest, wasn't it? Plus, how much fun is it to tailgate and drink during NFL games only to have to go to work the next day?
Some NFL teams sport classy uniforms, most notably the Packers, Bears, Colts, Raiders, and Chiefs, and to a lesser degree, the Jets, Giants, and Cowboys. However, the abundance of timeless uniforms in college football is exceptional.
Tennessee, Texas, Georgia, Ohio State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Penn State, UCLA, Nebraska, and Alabama are the cream of the crop when it comes to uniform designs in the world of football. And really, if aliens came to earth and wanted to see what football uniforms looked like, wouldn't we show them these schools?
I'm not saying there aren't some colleges with bad uniforms but the NFL has some really atrocious designs that can cause bleeding of the cornea (hello Cincinnati, Buffalo, Seattle, and any other team that thinks it looks good to match dark jersey's with dark pants and socks).
The NFL certainly has its fair share of beautiful and enthusiastic cheerleaders, but they cannot hold a candle to what the college game has to offer. And let's face it, NFL cheerleaders are there to look good and do some dancing...there isn't much in the cheering department.
In college we are given women (and men!) cheerleaders who form an integral part of the game and who lead the crowds in cheers. As an added bonus they perform brave stunts of gymnastics and include props to help bring the crowd to their feet. Again, if we were to show aliens what cheerleaders should look like, it would be the USC song girls.
6. Fight Songs
For crazy college football fans hearing their teams fight songs can send shivers down their spine and cause the hair to raise on the back of their neck. And that's just in the middle of May. Quite simply, the NFL has nothing to offer in this category whereas the college football world is full of pulse raising anthems.
Tied closely to fight songs, college bands provide an whole new dimension to football that is sadly lost in the NFL. These bands blast out their school's fight song and Alma mater but they also provide excellent choreography and entertainment.
4. Plethora of Offense
I can't count how many times I've fallen asleep during the first half of an NFL game while watching on TV. No doubt most NFL games are exciting in person, but watching on television is sometimes as boring as watching the third division of English soccer.
We all know the defenses are superb in the NFL and I'm not saying that I need explosive offense all the time to enjoy a game, but it gets tiring watching football that leads to 6-3 halftime scores.
More than anything, the college game displays many different offensive packages, and the willingness to throw the ball downfield and try trick plays in big moments. Does anyone think an NFL team would pull off the Boise State "Statue of Liberty" play in the last minute of a playoff game? Not going to happen.
Such a crucial factor to the greatness of college football is the majestic stadiums on so many university campus' across the United States. In contrast, the NFL has an array of new stadiums that, although fancy and full of leisure, are not as gratifying.
The oldest stadium in the NFL is Lambeau Field which opened in 1957. The next oldest coresponding to their respective teams are San Francisco ('60), Oakland ('66), San Diego ('67), Kansas City ('72), and Buffalo ('73). Twenty-one teams alone have unveiled new stadiums since the presidency of Bill Clinton.
In stark contrast college football is loaded with ancient meccas to the sport. Texas A&M's field was opened in 1904. Penn State's in 1909. Georgia Tech, Wisconsin, UCLA, Tennessee, Ohio State, USC, Nebraska, Michigan, Notre Dame, and Florida all built new stadiums ten years or more before World War II.
Being able to visit any one of the number of great college football stadiums is a joy in and of itself, even if you don't get to watch a game being played.
The rivalries in college football are simply second-to-none. Whether it is Ohio State-Michigan, Oklahoma-Texas, Florida-Georgia, Alabama-Auburn, or USC-Notre Dame, each rivalry is bitter, distinctive, and full of a century of animosity.
When you put together the paegentry and the primacy of regular season games in college football rivalries, they are the best in the business. Unlike other sports, these teams play each once, and only once, each and every year.
The tradition of college football is really encapsulated by the entire list that you've already read. But there is more to it than that. For me, the tradition of college football is stronger than any other sport in America and is as intense and colorful as any you'll find throughout the world.
In the NFL there's always free agency and million dollar contracts. Teams move and build new stadiums. They also change their uniforms, sometimes completely changing colors. New owners can take over and severely alter the franchise.
In college, things stay the same for the most part. Every year new freshman come to campus and are joined by a handful of transfers, but you know what you're going to get with college football. Because of the tradition and everything that comes with it, college football is so much better than the NFL.