Thursday, February 17, 2011

No 2011 NFL Season? That's What College Football is For

The National Football League along with its owners and players are facing a very real situation. They may not have a season in 2011. Neither side has been able to sit down together for any productive talks and the way things are looking, this may come to a very bad conclusion.

That being said, you'll have to forgive me if I'm silently rejoicing at that fact. Don't get me wrong I do feel for the players who are unable to play the game they love and a game that makes them millions of dollars a year.

However, I do not feel bad that we'll have to hear from Terrell Owens' lack of playing time, Ben Roethlisberger's off the field trouble, the albatross of a contract given to Albert Haynesworth by the Washington Redskins and the rest of the stories that I could care less about.

There are too many things I wouldn't miss about my television not showing professional football games on Sundays, too many to list anyway. If you're curious about the list I'd be happy to share it with you. Though I'm sure you don't really care so let's move on to the heart of the piece, shall we?

Living here in Dallas, I get to hear the  expectations the media and fans put on Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys. When they don't live up to said expectations, I get to tune in to any sports talk radio stations on Monday morning and here how the sky is falling all around Cowboys Stadium.

Don't get me wrong some of the fans that call in give me a good solid laugh from time to time. But when the same complaints are said more than a dozen times, it gets tiring. New ideas need to be brought to the forefront instead of concentrating on the same things week in and week out.

Sunday is not my day for football. It never has been. If you don't hate me already you can keep reading. If you're ready to send me hate mail, take a number.
During the playoffs this past season, NFL Sunday Countdown analyst Tom Jackson decided that he was going to pick against the New York Jets in their first round game. The team used what Jackson had said and called him out after they had picked up the win.

Upon hearing this news Jackson quickly back tracked and, wait for it, looked straight into the camera and said that he was just trying to give the Jets a little bit of motivation. Huh?

Look I'm no NFL expert but if the Jets need a motivational, or lack thereof, speech from Mr. Jackson just to be able to go out and win a playoff game, they're in more trouble than I thought. That's only one of the reasons I don't watch guys who do their show from the comfort of a studio instead of with the NFL fans.

The NFL missing a season isn't going to keep me from watching football. In fact, it's going to make me enjoy college football even more than I do now.

How many of us wake up early on Saturday morning just to turn on College Gameday? If you're not raising your hand you're either lying or too defensive of the NFL.

For those that do have their hand raised I'm right there with you. But what is the biggest reason we enjoy the show? Doing the show in front of the fans and the students of that respective university makes for an incredible atmosphere and makes watching the show on television that much more fun. You get to hear their reaction to what they're talking about, the stories that are told, and the picks that are made at the end of the show.

But one moment stands out that we all make sure we tune in for. Lee Corso donning the head gear. That is a moment that makes us laugh and makes the crowd behind them either erupt with applause or boo with disapproval. Whatever the reaction, it's a moment that every college football fan loves regardless of what team they support.

Let me put it another way and I'll use the Southeastern Conference as an example. What do you look forward to the most during the football season? The rivalry between Alabama and Auburn or the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints? Next to being a fan of Falcons' quarterback Matt Ryan, I'd rather not invest three hours in an NFL game that doesn't mean a thing to me.

At least in the college game, one loss could mean the difference between a spot in the national championship game or just another bowl game. One loss in the NFL gets a "oh well, go get 'em next week."

I know the players as well as the fans don't want to see the NFL cancel an entire season. They want to see the CBA signed by both sides to avoid what could be a disaster for the sport.

But, as far as I'm concerned, they can spend the entire season watching their alma maters on television and wishing they could have gotten something done to avoid this mess. I'm going to be just fine watching college football on Saturday's because it's what I've always done and it's what I'll always do.

So good luck to all the professional football players in the National Football League. If we don't see you at Cowboys Stadium, or any other stadium for that matter, you'll forgive me if I don't shed a single tear.

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