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Real/American Football.

It’s Super Bowl weekend.  And, I completely forgot.  To be honest, I don’t really care about the Super Bowl or NFL football for that matter.  I think the small sports enthusiast bit of me that might have gotten excited enough to remember the upcoming Super Bowl is still swallowed up in happiness for the signing of Isiah Crowell, the nation’s number one runningback recruit, to the University of Georgia.  For me, it’s not a matter of liking sport or not.  It’s about college football vs. NFL football – a battle that, in my mind, will always be won college football, hands down.  And also a battle that has never been really understood by non-Americans and may never be…

Yes, NFL football is a glitzy sport.  In fact, that’s all it is (to me at least).  It’s a show and a spectacle, just like those fake WWF matches that my Granddaddy loves to watch.  I’m not saying that raw talent doesn’t exist in the NFL at all.  But, when I say “fake” here I’m just giving you the antonym of real.  And, I must argue that the NFL lacks real passion, players and fans alike.  NFL players receive multi-million dollar salaries, which they in turn use to buy pimped out Escalades and diamond encrusted pinky rings.  Fame and fortune (and scandal).  NFL players are loyal to the highest bidding contract, not their team.  College football players (even though they may be working toward NFL contracts), are rewarded by their names in the local papers and the respect of their classmates and teammates.  College football players play out of loyalty for their school. 

I’m not certain that anyone who didn’t attend university in the States will ever understand the allegiance one develops for their alma mater.  Your university experience defines you and your life.  And in the South, you live that life by a religion called football.  If you ever get a chance to attend a SEC football game, do it.  Be prepared to dress to the nines. (For guys, that means nice trousers and a button down.  Tie optional.  For girls, that means dresses and heels.  No exceptions.)  Be prepared to drink well before noon for a 3pm or 7pm game.  And, when you stand in that stadium shoulder-to-shoulder among the school’s current students and alumni, I promise you’ll feel what I’m talking about. 

The excitement behind watching a college football game is born from pure passion from your school and sometimes deep, historic rivalry with (or even hatred for) your opponent.  What are the hot topics generating excitement for NFL football?  Let’s see.  I’d say the Dallas Cowboys’ Cheerleaders and Super Bowl commercials.  The final championship game of the NFL season is defined by ridiculously high advertising expenditure ($3 million for a 30 second spot for the 2011 game) and foods like nachos and pigs in a blanket.  What does that tell you?  It ain’t about the game (for most). 

Just so you know, highlights of the game are already starting to leak.  Check them out here.  (<– See? A somewhat marketing/advertising related post!)

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Categories: blogging for America
  1. neilchappell
    February 4, 2011 at 11:16 am

    I have been to both a college football game and an NFL game, and the atmosphere at the former, with its brass bands and family atmosphere was far superior to the choreographed, marketing and commercial break-led sterility of the pro game. I had a fantastic experience and I would recommend attending a college game to anyone.

    However, on the field…even the crowd at the college game were laughing at the hapless punting, wayward goal kicking and enthusiastic amateur antics on display. I enjoy watching college football but will never have an affiliation. That, and the higher level of skill on display in the NFL, means that despite the salaries and the mercenaries, I would rather watch the Superbowl than a college bowl game. And this year’s match-up could be a classic.

    The ads, the razzmatazz…I couldn’t care less. But who will win the head-to-head between two talented quarterbacks? Can Pittsburgh shut down Green Bay’s passing game? Will Big Bad Ben Roethlisberger be redeemed after he came close to being kicked out of the Steelers – and maybe the sport? I can’t wait. And try telling the cheeseheads and the yellow towel waving Steelers fans that they lack passion. College football and the NFL are two separate sports, and they can both generate great drama and passion. For a sport that really lacks any integrity, may I humbly suggest Formula One…

  2. February 4, 2011 at 11:59 am

    Very interesting.

    Having had some direct experience of the NFL with the Redskins…through thick and thin…losing seasons through to winning the superbowl, my own personal experience was of a very intense and full blooded supporter experience.Dancing on top of some becalmed metro buses in a sea of 200,000 fans in Georgetown after the 1982 victory over the Dolphins felt pretty heartfelt and authentic

    All I can say is that college football must be a really compelling experience to beat that.

    Which indeed it may be…

    Come on you Packers!!

  3. boingster
    February 5, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    Is there a simile with top flight football (soccer) in this country?

  4. Kelly Pires
    February 16, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    Amen sister!! College football all the way.

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