Sports is a beautiful and ugly thing. Other than politics, it’s the one thing that can bring people together and tear people apart at the same time. People gather around on the television sets or at places such as Buffalo Wild Wings, Hooters, and Applebee’s to cheer on their favorite teams and enjoy each other’s company. These days, more people are getting involved in fantasy sports, especially with the rise of one-week fantasy sports sites such as Draft Kings and FanDuel. Most sports fans just focus on the game that day and whatever “breaking news” happens in regards to their team and/or favorite players. If you truly look at sports in terms of collegiate and pro sports, things couldn’t be any more different.
In the eyes of many people, the pros is where the money’s at while the collegiate is where the heart and soul of the sports are at. The National Football League (NFL) is arguably the most popular sports league in the world, with the Super Bowl, aka “The Big Game” being their big event. The Super Bowl used to be a one-day, one game event. It has evolved to a week-long spectacle, where the game is almost an afterthought to the whole thing (the Halftime time show (good/bad) has been the focal point on my Facebook timeline for the past couple of years). It’s still a dream that guys that have played football strive for, but it’s kinda died down a bit, and I think it’s more about the money than the title of champion these days. There are players that will go on to make Super Bowls and there will be players that will never even see the light of a playoff game (let alone a Super Bowl), but they will still get paid more money than most of us will see in a lifetime. The National Basketball Association (NBA) probably is the biggest sports league to showcase more on the players than the teams in a TEAM sport. While many want a ring, most want the money that goes with being an NBA player, champion or not. The National Hockey League (NHL), Major League Baseball (MLB), and Major League Soccer (MLS) might be the exception to the rules as while money is important, playing with heart and passion seems to be the name of the game. I’m not saying NFL and NBA players don’t, but that seems to be the general consensus from what I’ve seen on social media over the last few years.
For the most part, college sports are a different animal altogether. College football is ridiculous when you talk about passion. Sane people become nuts during the fall. You have those who “bleed orange," paint their faces purple (and dye their hair silver) and people putting Roll Tide on EVERYTHING THEY SAY ON SOCIAL MEDIA! It drives me crazy sometimes, but what can I say? I love it when college football comes around. Tailgates are awesome, the atmosphere is incredible, and you meet people who will become a second family to you in the span of five minutes or less. College basketball...I just need to say two words on that: MARCH. MADNESS. I don’t care what form or college/university It is (NAIA, NCAA Division I/II, etc.) or what sport it is, you will see athletes playing their hearts out for the fact they love what they do. Not everyone makes it to the pro stage, so they give it all they have in the collegiate level and see where fate lands them.
Some will prefer collegiate sports over pro sports, others prefer the opposite. There’s no right or wrong preference as to what is better. If you want to see athletes compete that make the money to never want for anything again, pro is the way to go. If you want to see athletes give it their all and money is NOT the main driving force behind their play factor, you’re better to sticking with collegiate sports. But if you’re a sports fan period…just watch it all. You can’t go wrong with not picking a side.