Let me start out by saying that this is, without a doubt, my favorite time of year. Sure, the weather cools down and the leaves turn pretty, and hunting season begins, but the main reason that this is the best time of year for me is that it is college football season.
College football is infinitely superior to its professional counterpart. There are no holdouts as agents complaining about the difference between a 46 and 49 million dollar contract. There is not the ridiculous overtime system in which a game is decided by the flip of a coin. In college, there are not nearly as many contrived celebrations or lame dances after stopping a running back for a 1 yard gain. And most importantly, there is no Terrell Owens.
However, it is not just pro football that is inferior to college football. I'm sure there are people that would argue that collegiate basketball is as entertaining, but I simply don't feel that way. I think college basketball is far too dependant upon the judgment of the referees by the nature of the sport. What constitutes a foul? It depends on who is calling the game. Sure, college football has had its controversial calls, but there seem to be less college football games that were decided by the officials than in basketball. And don't even get me started on the NBA. Traveling, carrying, and palming the ball might as well be taken out of the rule book. Also, I'm starting to buy into my father's conspiracy theory that the NBA Playoffs are rigged every year.
On to baseball. Although the College World Series can be interesting at times, I feel the sport of baseball is inherently boring. You can condense the actual action of a three hour baseball game into less than fifteen minutes. There is way too much down time. Watching the pitcher try to pick off the guy at first three consecutive times makes me feel like breaking things. Then, the pitcher actually prepares to throw, which is a 30 second process in itself, as he spins the baseball in his hand, waits for the signal, then checks on the runner, and finally gets ready to throw. Then the batter calls time, delaying the process further, after which he hits a foul ball. In my opinion, I just completely wasted two to three minutes of my life.
Now, let's look at the much-maligned sport of soccer. Apparently you're un-American if you even pretend to like the sport past middle school. Let's face it; no one seems to care about collegiate soccer, although I'm of the opinion that women's college soccer can be very entertaining. However, that's a separate issue unrelated to the sport itself, and I digress. As for professional soccer, the MLS is far from an American sports staple. The only thing that some of the U.S. cares about is the World Cup, which only happens once every four years. And even then, it's mostly a bunch of foreigners who feign life-threatening injuries if someone touches them. Although I slightly enjoy the sport, I still get more excited for any Red Raider football game than I do for the World Cup final.
At this point, I'm sure some of you Northerners are wondering if hockey will get a mention. Well, I'll mention it, but not favorably. Hockey to me is soccer on ice with the occasional WWE-esque fight. I will admit that I have some respect for the players who are really talented at the sport. I have enough trouble just skating around. Still, to me, hockey doesn't have soccer's fluidity or beauty. I just see a bunch of guys with dentures knocking each other into plexiglass. It doesn't do it for me.
Since the Northerners have their sport, I'll give the Southerners a mention of their beloved NASCAR. I have plenty of respect for the power of a finely-tuned automobile and a talented driver, but I don't get the whole affinity for left turns. Now, having never been to a NASCAR race, I cannot understand what it's like to have the cars rushing by you almost 200 m.p.h., which seems like it would be interesting and enjoyable. However, I have trouble watching it on TV. I suspect that much of the audience watches just to see the crashes. That being said, some of the best people I know are die-hard NASCAR fans, so maybe there is something to it.
What about golf? While it is truly one of the most relaxing experiences possible to play a round of golf in a beautiful setting, this is another sport that is simply tough to watch. My father is a great golfer, and loves everything about the sport, but even he can't stay awake through an entire tournament. He would always wake up about an hour after it's over and ask me who won. Although the sport is slightly entertaining to me, if I watch an entire round of golf, it just feels like I should be doing something far more productive with my time.
Tennis has its moments, but I am rapidly losing interest in the sport. Now that Agassi is done, there are few reasons to watch. Roger Federer is just dominating the entire sport with his robot powers. These days, if I find myself watching tennis, it is usually a women's match where one or more of the players has a last name ending in "ova." It's also occasionally interesting to watch Andy Roddick play to see who the latest concubine is in the stands that is cheering him on. Still, as a sport, tennis is getting a bit lame for my tastes.
The other sports are inconsequential to me. And while college football has many shortcomings, if you ask me, it is still the most entertaining three hours of television anywhere. It's the only sport where I can watch two teams that I care nothing about play and still enjoy watching. It's the only sport that makes me eagerly await every weekend. To me, that is why college football is pure greatness.
(Questions, comments, praise, and constructive criticism can be directed to Trent within the forums or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org