college sports - can you explain...

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by QCassidy352, Mar 2, 2006.

  1. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    why everyone cares so much?

    I've honestly never gotten the national obsession with college basketball/football. They're college kids... why would I care? If I want to see good basketball/football I'll watch the NBA/NFL. These guys have skills equivalent to minor league baseball players--semi-pros. Some will go on to be big stars, some average NBA/NFL players, and most will never see the pros.

    These players are just hired guns playing semi-professional sports and a name-affiliation to a school. But let's not kid ourselves in to thinking that they are "student athletes" or representatives of their schools, except in rare cases. Players at big-time NCAA basketball or football players don't have to meet any standards to get in, get waived through classes, and generally have very little in common with the average college student.

    I'm a huge sports fan, but college sports just don't do anything for me. Basically I think the whole thing is a sham. These players are minor leaguers cloaked in the colors of a school that they really have nothing to do with. NCAA basketball and football hold my interest roughly as long as minor-league baseball does, which is to say, not at all. Can someone explain why this country goes nuts over NCAA sports? :confused:
  2. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    It's the opposite here, we couldn't care less about Uni sports. We don't have massive stadiums for our Uni teams, or our high school teams for that matter. The only time you can expect a crowd of more than a handful of people to attend an event where Uni teams are competing is in the annual Uni games which goes for two weeks and is held at a different uni each year. Otherwise the university teams play in the local competitions and normally the only spectators are the other players in the team.

    If you want to draw a crowd here you have to be playing in the top echelon of the competition. That generally means the national team or any large club that plays games against international competition. Our cricketers playing in the state competition struggle to pull a hundred people to their games during the season as it coincides with the national team playing tests against overseas teams in front of crowds in the many tens of thousands.

    Uni is really very laid back here and the sports even more so - apart from the 1st and 2nd teams who often compete to win, the lower grades are basically there for a hit and a giggle and the game only exists to make them thirsty enough to go to the pub after.
  3. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    Well, for the most part, I don't watch college sports, or many other sports for that matter.

    I watch Georgia Tech and I care about how they do in sports, but really only because I went there. March madness is fun because there are so many games going on in a short amount of time and it's really an endurance test. I might watch 1 or 2 college FB bowl games, but that's really it for college. Pro sports aren't much better for me either. I'll watch the NHL playoffs and the World Cup and maybe a UEFA game or two whenever I can catch one. Other than that, my sport-wachings are sparce.
  4. treblah macrumors 65816


    Oct 28, 2003
    Nevermind, nbs2 has given a much better answer.
  5. nbs2 macrumors 68030


    Mar 31, 2004
    A geographical oddity
    While I can't answer for everybody, and I think that there are more opinions than football players in Div I football, I'll take a shot at it.

    One of the foremost passions in college sports stems from American history. Remember that until the Civil War, we were really a bunch of states that did stuff together (something like the EU). Much of the rivalry that existed back then has continued today. That is the source and background for many rivalries. When you add in the in-state rivalry (nothing different than sibling rivalry), much of the passion is explained away. Remember that is the in-states, especially, there is usually a socio-economic force behind why the two schools were formed.

    So, that doesn't explain why people love individual teams. There is always the pagentry of college sports. The marching bands, song girls, etc. have a historic background to them. Some schools will rely more on their bands than on the soundsystem for in game music - I love to hear the bands play. People love history and pagentry when they can feel like they have part in it. Remember, a lot of people go to college (whether they play sports or not), but only a few play pro sports.

    But, beyond that there is a better sense of connection than there is with the pros. Remember, while some of these students are future pros and are only biding their time until the draft, many others do care about where they are and about the school. For them, they know they won't make the NFL/NBA, but they play hard. Living in DC, take the time to go to a game at Catholic - they are a small school, but their players and fans are passionate in a way that you won't see at WorldCom Arena (can I call it that :D) when the Bullets take the floor.

    Also, watch the games. Obviously there isn't the talent that you see in the pros, but there is effort. The plays are a litte bit more simple, but they are constant. One of the failings (or successes) of college sports today is that they are becoming more professional. I miss the glory days of the Wishbone and the Option.

    Finally (not really, but I should do some work), there are the little things. It's usually cheaper to see a college game than a pro, so families go and children are raised rooting for a team. Colleges are more a part of the community than pro teams are - when I am in NoVa, I am more likely to see and interact with a GMU student than a Redskins employee (practice facility is there). I didn't go to a lot of football games after my sophmore year (mostly b/c I didn't like the way the team was being coached), but going to basketball games, especially against our big rival was amazing. And last - the upset. Yes Atlanta could beat San Antonio, who cares. Both are pro teams and should be playing at a similar professional level. The only difference between the two is work ethic and team management. But when a major underdog beats, or at least takes to the last minute, a historic team - there's magic in the air. It hasn't happened yet, but someday a 16 seed will beat a 1 seed in March. There, the will to win will overcome a difference in talant that you will never see in the pros.
  6. MacNut macrumors Core


    Jan 4, 2002
    The real reason is that the college game is pure where as the NBA and NFL is all about the money. Id rather watch the NCAA tournament to any NBA game at all.
  7. cycocelica macrumors 68000


    Apr 28, 2005
    Redmond, WA
    The real rivalries (the only major sports rivalry is Yankees and Red Sox). The fact that at any college venue the fans are probably 10x more into the game. If you are actually apart of that college then it does mean somehting to you (bragging right, national attention, etc.). I love sports, college and majors, but I would choose to watch a college sports game over any other major game (besides baseball). I just love the atmosphere of a college venue, fans constantly cheering and everyone is into it.
  8. cycocelica macrumors 68000


    Apr 28, 2005
    Redmond, WA
    Why is it a sham? Its much better than the pros wanting millions and millions and crying like a little bitch when they dont have make 10 mil a year. How do they have nothing to do with the school? Is that a joke? These players were scouted and choose to go to THAT school. They go to class, as much as we would like to think they dont. So they are just as a part of the school as the normal kid is. Why do we go crazy of NCAA? Ask yourself this, why do we go crazy over Pros? Basically the same reason will apply.
  9. XNine macrumors 68040


    Apr 7, 2005
    Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?
    I like College Hockey (cos it's hockey, duh) and Girl's Volleyball... Did I just say that outloud?
  10. ejb190 macrumors 65816


    Why do I like college sports?

    Do you remember a few years ago when Valparaiso University made the Sweet 16? Brice Drew made a last second 3-pointer for the win. Who the heck is Valparaiso University? (I know - I live in Valparaiso)

    Watching Purdue pick off what should have been Indiana's winning touchdown to win the game and reclaim the Old Oaken Bucket.

    Ever see it when the last player off the bench finally goes in and plays his heart out and gives it his all? The crowd knows it and they let him know they appreciate his effort. (Brian Cardinal, who eventally became a starter)

    I often feel that the pros are all about the money. You can't have a team when it's all about "me" and how much TV time "I" get and if I get "my" bonus. And nothing makes me madder then college players who start acting like they are in the pros.

    My two cents.
  11. takao macrumors 68040


    Dec 25, 2003
    Dornbirn (Austria)
    i'm with Chundles as well.. i know my uni here has some sort of sports tracks, soccer field etc. but in the last 3 years of studying i haven't seen them.. actually i don't even know how to get there

    and it's mostly to get thristy (as far as i heard from the one guy who was there once 2 years ago)
    i remember they are holding some small tournaments witha few teams but afaik there isn't a nation wide competition

    the sport tracks fields are there because you can study sports medicine and some training stuff .. and of course some smaller 4th league clubs use them
  12. Apple Hobo macrumors 6502a

    Apple Hobo

    Mar 19, 2004
    A series of tubes
    There's plenty of shady money, scandal and corporate sponsor whoring in college sports.
  13. MacAztec macrumors 68040


    Oct 28, 2001
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    Wow, I guess you never played competetive sports in school?

    Up until the professional level, sports are played for three reasons:

    1) To reach the pro level (for money)
    2) To be the best team
    3) For pure enjoyment

    Once D1 College sports are reached, I think it is about being the best and becoming professional. I don't think you enjoy sports very much unless you are winning, and to win, you have to be the best.

    Once the professional level is reached, everything is for money and for show. Its all about who is in the media, who makes the most money, etc.
  14. cycocelica macrumors 68000


    Apr 28, 2005
    Redmond, WA
    Hell our football team is not that good but most of the students wouldnt miss a game for the world. They are just that fun to go to.
  15. stevietheb macrumors 6502a


    Jan 15, 2004
    I must chime in here as my Texas Longhorns are the current NCAA Football and Baseball title holders! (Hook 'em!)

    Why I watch college baseball:
    When I was at the University of Texas (UT), I was 3 hrs away from my beloved Astros (reigning NL Champs...finally). However, if I remember correctly, I was 10-minutes and $0 away from a good baseball game! I had grown up in Houston watching Rice baseball games, but never got into it because I didn't have any connection to Rice. At UT, I felt like I was part of the team—I felt more connected...and it was cheap!

    Why I watch college football:
    It comes down to 2 words—rivalry and upset. My most anticipated weekend of the year is typically the first weekend of October: the Red River Shootout when my Longhorns meet the Oklahoma Sooners in the Cotton Bowl. It doesn't matter what the teams are ranked (for example, OU was not particularly good this year [compared to recent years], while Texas was the best team in the nation), the game is always exciting, and you just never know what's going to happen. That plays into the upset factor too—even if it's a minor one. Perhaps I'm biased, but I can't think of a more exciting game than this year's National Championship game between Texas and Southern California.

    There's nothing more fun for me than eating chili, drinking beer, and watching UT Football—and football is far from my favorite sport...there's just something about it that is beyond great.

    You must also remember that in some cases and in some areas college teams have been around a lot longer than pro teams—there's more history.

    Two other words describe why I watched college football this year—Vince and Young.
  16. OnceUGoMac macrumors 6502a


    Mar 3, 2004
    I like college sports because the competition is better, I have local loyalties, and it's fun.
  17. Kwyjibo macrumors 68040


    Nov 5, 2002
    Alright well my first question is did you go to an american university with a big sports program? If not it makes it harder to understand, I have the same feelings about high school football BUT kids in the south love it.

    Alright ... well with college football I see your point, the NFL is better. But I wholeheartdley disagree with the NBA / College basketball.

    College Basketball is ...
    a team sport, the most proflific scorers are putting up 40-50 not 81.
    COME ON, TURNOVERS ARE so exciting ... especially with the "one man fast break" on your team ...meep meep
    Conference play is very competitive, nobody goes undefeated in a big conference.
    The players are working towards a goal, they all want to move on to the next level so they all play with a chip on their shoulder to try and prove something
    You see more raw talent and more of a team effort
    Theres more of a suprise with players every year ... will that new recruit be awesome or will he flop ... will he declare in one year ... you never know
    The tournament is crazy .... show me someone who makes a perfect bracket consistently ... impossible.
    The playoffs are the most exciting in sports
  18. stevietheb macrumors 6502a


    Jan 15, 2004
    Just thought of another reason I prefer college to pro in a lot of cases: Free Agency...
  19. Kwyjibo macrumors 68040


    Nov 5, 2002
    this reminded me of something ... in DIA you have to wait a year if you transfer, I love that when kids leave my school and hate it when i am waiting for a player.
  20. savar macrumors 68000


    Jun 6, 2003
    District of Columbia
    It can't really be explained...if you don't get it you would never like it.

    As to your comments about "student athletes" -- my two favorite teams are Penn (my alma mater) and Duke. I can tell you at both schools even the basketball team studies their butts off. At other schools you're 100% right, but it doesn't change the fact that its insanely fun to tailgate and be huge fans. There's a lot of school pride involved in intercollegiate sports. And even if the kids are coasting through school, they play with a lot more heart than pro-players, and that makes it a lot of fun to watch.
  21. mikeyredk macrumors 65816

    Mar 13, 2003
    Ask these guys

    and these guys

    Its about school pride and BTW I do go to Penn State :D :p
  22. gauchogolfer macrumors 603


    Jan 28, 2005
    American Riviera
    Not to make this into a thread of UT football, but I just wanted to chime in with the Vince Young love :) .
    I have a far greater connection with UT football than I do with my favorite NFL team (Dallas Cowboys); I grew up in Austin, but did not attend UT. The greater access to games was the main reason for me, plus the fact that everyone in the area was a fan (except for the odd Aggie :eek: ). I'm not under any illusions about the upstanding, more 'pure' or 'noble' interests of the athletes, since their experience is in fact quite different from the average students': nicer dorms, private tutors, catered cafeteria, etc. But, I still cheer them on the loudest of any of 'my teams'.
  23. ejb190 macrumors 65816


    Yah, I remember sitting in my office in the Tyson Building on a football Saturday and hearing the crowd when Penn State scored (a half mile away). So glad to see Penn State and JoPa finally have a good year!
  24. QCassidy352 thread starter macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    I disagree with most of your assumptions. It's not all about the money for pros. Just because they get paid a lot doesn't mean they don't care about the games just as much as college players. I also just reject the assumption that these players go to class and are normal students. More on that in a second.

    haha, quite the opposite. I ran varsity cross country and track for 4 years in high school and four years in college. I wasn't a pro or anywhere close, but I'd wager I know an awful lot more about competing at a high level than the vast majority of the people out there. And those meets and races and championships always meant a hell of a lot to me, but not to 50,000 screaming fans, nor would I expect them to.

    I guess I just reject the assumption that these guys really represent the schools whose colors they wear. You think the average USC student has anything in common with Reggie Bush? My own experience tells me that they're not real students; DI athletes, at least in "big-time" sports, major in athletics, and the rest is window dressing, if that. Hell, even in track that's half true; in football or basketball it's much more so. You don't have to look any further than graduation rates to see my point; even getting waived through classes half these guys can't graduate. I'm not saying they're stupid; I'm saying they are basically professionals, and athletics is what they do.

    I like the pros because it's watching the very best of the best perform at an incredible level. You watch a Jordan or a Clemens or a Sanders and you're seeing a level of ability that's just awe-inspiring. These college kids... meh.

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