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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Forgotten Game

Courtesy+of+CVogle+on+Flickr%26%23160%3B%0A

Courtesy of CVogle on Flickr 

College football is the second biggest sport in America, next to professional football. It’s influence spans from the beaches of Miami, to the plains of Oklahoma, to the forests of Oregon. In New England, however, its level of interest is on par with such heavyweights as Indycar and Scrabble. Why can’t sports-crazed Massholes get behind college ball the same way they do pro teams?

In their defense, there really isn’t a team in New England that would merit giving up a Saturday afternoon to watch. (Sorry, BC; maybe 25 years ago.) That said, there is perhaps no other sport that blankets a TV like college ball. Last Saturday at 3:30 p.m., there were no fewer than 12 different channels offering games, and that will increase in a couple of weeks when CBS and NBC start airing their games-of-the-week.

Football is, in my opinion, the greatest game ever created. I enjoy watching it at every level from high school up. I’d rather watch two 3-13 NFL teams play a meaningless game than Game Seven of the NBA finals. College football is my favorite level of the sport because it not only showcases athletes, but displays century-old traditions and families whose bloodlines at a school go back generations. Nostalgia is one of the keys to making sports fun, and perhaps only baseball has more of it than college football.

Another thing that might put fans off is the game’s fairly crappy first two weeks of a season. I’ll admit watching Oklahoma beat up on Youngstown State isn’t exactly gripping.  Once the third week of the season kicks in and great conference games start up, however, sports fans have no excuse.  The games have everything you could ask for: tradition, drama, and above all, meaning. In college football, if a team loses even one game, even early in the season, their championship hopes are basically over. It is the most pressure-packed regular season in sports.

Some fans are starting to catch on. A friend of mine (and UMass Boston student) flew to Miami last year to watch West Virginia play in the Orange Bowl. UMB senior Shawn Reynolds shared his thoughts on the game:  “I like the passion in college football, the fans get really hyped up.  It’s rah-rah.  It’s got that real football energy.” He added, “I think in the South they’re much more dedicated, and the weather is much nicer there.  They have much more of a passion for the game in other parts of the country.”  Reynolds admitted that, although he is an avid watcher of the college game, he loves pro ball as well.

In New England, too many Saturdays are being wasted on apple-picking, long walks on the beach or antiquing. Come on guys! It’s time to expand our weekends to 48 hours of nonstop football greatness. Massholes need to start adopting college football and get a full fall sports weekend like God intended.