If you go to a university, then you’ve probably been basking in the fact that college football season is back. The stadiums are filled, tailgating commences, and plenty of people around the nation are having their hearts either filled with joy or broken with despair. As I neurotically watched my school’s team play this weekend, I decided it’d be appropriate to write about what makes college football so great. Here’s what I managed to think up.
Hands down the best part of going to a university with a good sports team is the unifying pride you get come game day. Repping your team’s colors and shouting out your school’s catch phrases is such a great bonding experience. There’s something about rushing out of a stadium in unison after a win, or slumping out together after a loss, with all of your fellow students and alumni. Outside of academics and birth location, having a college football team brings out the tribal nature in all of us, but allows us to be proud of something we chose.
Better to Watch Live Than NFL
My biggest issue with professional football is how unenjoyable games are to watch live. While the NBA and MLB are infinitely better live, the NFL suffers from being a commercial driven sport, with way too much stopping and going for anything to be interesting. College football alleviates this, as stadiums are built for live consumption, and since teams aren’t as evenly stacked as the NFL is, there’s way more opportunity for big plays and inventive coaches to exist, making it worth your while to show up in person.
There’s something so enjoyable about how much gear there is to rep for your college sports team. Since college teams have so much reach as students are guaranteed fans, there’s always new and trendy clothing items that you can rep around the world. The amount of times I’ve made friends or had great conversations with fellow alumni of my school because I’ve been wearing my school’s merch as I travel are numerous, and it’s made me even prouder of going to my school.
Compensate For Academics
The benefit of having a good athletics program at your school is that even if your school isn’t doing great academically, you’ll still get funding if your sports program is good enough. We all know the names of plenty of colleges who don’t excel in much but athletics, but their great college sports team allows students to still be proud of their location. The fact that a good education comes from good funding, and that sports can bring funding to a school means that big sports schools actually benefit their academic situation.
An Excuse to Bond
Go into any bar, restaurant, and cafe around a university, and you’ll see them adorn their business with the colors and slogans of your school’s sport team. There’s something magical about how a school’s athletic program transforms the location around them, creating a unique culture in that town. I love that schools like Notre Dame, UT, USC, and Michigan State transcend just being college sports teams, but exist in people’s minds as cultural organizations. It’s truly unique, and is only matched by how European people treat soccer.
I urge people who attend university and don’t like their sports team to reevaluate their stance on the matter. Having a sports team that belongs to the school you chose is such an American and awesome cultural experience, that you only really get to appreciate during your four years. I can’t recommend enough that people go a college football game during their time in college, and really feel the bonding experience over wearing the same merchandise and root for the same team. I hope that everyone’s home team pulls through for them, and that this nation survives this college football season.