As The NFL Season Starts, I Will Not Be Watching

As The NFL Season Starts, I Will Not Be Watching

There is more drama in the sport than me hearing about the game being played.

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Fall is upon us. That means pumpkin patches, cold weather, changing leaves, and of course, football season. I am a college student and I love college football. Professional football, not so much.

I didn't always use to be like this. I used to be a hardcore NFL fan.

My dad had season tickets with his buddies. He always tried to take me at least one game during the season. When I got old enough, he would bring me along to tailgate and grill burgers on a random parking lot. His friends would talk about the game. I loved the experience. How close we were to the field, the atmosphere, and the food of course.

My dad had season tickets to the St. Louis Rams. Yep, remember that name? In 2000, the Rams won the Super Bowl. They called it the "Greatest Show on Turf." Fast forward to 2015. I was sitting the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis with my dad and his best friends. They had some idea that this may be the last year that the Rams would be in St. Louis. Their lease was up and Stan Kroenke had the dollar sign in his eyes. He wanted to head back to LA for another chance at glory. At the beginning of 2016, St. Louis had a plan for a new stadium and they pitched it well. However, Mr. Kronke had his own plans for a bigger and better stadium in LA. On that late January evening, the NFL owners voted 31-2 to move the Rams to LA. To my disappointment, the Rams were officially gone.

Now, our track record with the NFL has not been great since then. Kroenke and the commissioner wasted millions of dollars telling St. Louis that they had a chance and that they should propose their best offer. They knew right well that they would never vote for that stadium. They are both money driven. To be honest, the whole organization is. The billionaires who own these teams only look out for themselves. What city can get me the most money? Since the franchise moved to LA, the City of St. Louis has made a public statement that they will not be welcoming another NFL team into the city for a very long time.

Now, this whole article isn't me being bitter about the Rams. It is about everything the NFL is today. After the recent kneeling controversy surrounding the NFL, the organization really hasn't done anything to curb all this controversy. There PR team could do so much better (I am speaking because I am in fact a PR major). For goodness sakes, the President is getting involved! The NFL has turned more political than a sport.

Speaking of the sport, it is really dangerous. I know that hasn't ever stopped anyone but it is. Concussions are a serious issue and looking after a players health should be the number one priority. It is a brutal sport. Period.

Viewership has been down since 2016. I know St. Louis fans attribute that to them but it has been dwindling for years. After talking about concussions and the risks that have been revealed about this American sport, it is losing its popularity.

My Sundays have become less about football and more about naps and homework. Is that because I have grown up? Possibly. But my interest in the NFL is not there like it used to. There is more drama in the sport than me hearing about the game being played. I do not miss you NFL. College football will curb that craving.

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An 'Expert's' Thoughts On The Worst Loss Of The Saban Era

Dabo Swinney solidifies Clemson as an elite college football program.

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Monday night, the Clemson Tigers were crowned national champions in one of the all-time beatdowns in the history of college football. Some may think that phrase is a bit harsh, but I can't show my bias in this situation. In fact, there is no real way to spin the game into something positive. Sure the referees missed a couple pass interference calls, you can even take away both of Tua's interceptions, I still think Alabama loses that game by 17-plus. That's how big the gap was between the two schools.

The first quarter of the game seemed to be typical championship shootout. Clemson forced an early pick-six but Alabama came right back with a 62-yard touchdown by Jerry Jeudy. The tide was actually leading 16-14 at the start of the second. Then it all went wrong from there. Clemson proceeded to move the ball all the way down the field for a dominating 65-yard drive which only lasted 2 minutes and 40 seconds. Next drive Tua throws an awful interception which is returned for over 40 yards giving Clemson the short field again. Three and a half minutes later it's 28-16. Clemson closes out the half with a field goal and now it's 31-16.

Everyone's mindset at this point was "Alabama and Nick Saban have a pretty good track record of having second-half comebacks." And with the first drive of the second half, it seemed as if they were starting to get their stuff together. Damien Harris and Josh Jacobs lead the offense down to the Clemson 22 before an incomplete pass on third and six made Saban trot out the field goal unit. Sure a field goal in this situation wasn't ideal but it would have made it a 12 point game and given the defense some momentum. Instead, but occurred was the worst decision a Saban lead team had ever made. A fake field goal, up the middle with the kicker as the lead blocker. And Clemson was ready for it.

WOW! Botched fake field goal ( college championship game ) YouTube

It was at this moment even though I didn't want to say it when I knew we had lost the game. It was a panic move by Saban at a time where the team just needed some sort of points. I understand that our kicker has struggled but if you want to go for it on fourth and six don't do a fake field goal, just keep the offense out there. I even disapprove of that.

Trevor Lawrence and the offense now back on the field was able to score in three plays which included a 74-yard touchdown pass to Justin Ross who lit up the secondary all night long. When it was all said and done the Tigers won 44-16, scoring 30 unanswered points to close out the game.

I sat up all night trying to fathom how this could have happened. It bothered me so much that I actually started rewatching the game (thanks Youtube). Yep, I relived every painful moment secluded in my room, cautiously evaluating every meaningful snap of the game. I was also simultaneously looking at the statistics of the game and when I brought it all together I figured out Dabo's formula to beat us. It was having elite receivers who can win every 50-50 ball, it was a defensive front which can make the quarterback uncomfortable, it was a secondary who can force multiple turnovers, it was a coaching staff that hasn't lost a coordinator in seven years, it was an offensive line which can keep the quarterback from getting touched at all (this is actually true). The short answer to all of this is that Dabo Swinney and Clemson was able to beat Nick Saban and Alabama by becoming them.

Think about it. Everything I just listed above is what the tide has been doing for the past 12 years. Other teams have been trying to replicate it for years but to no success. Now someone has finally figured it out until now.

Now I'm not here to say that the Saban dynasty is all over. When looking at all of the great dynasty's in sports every single one had a rival to tie it too. Michael Jordan's Bulls had the Detroit Pistons, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick had the New York Giants, LeBron James had the San Antonio Spurs. When you really look at Saban's era he really hasn't had a true rival who consistently got in his way of winning a championship until Monday. Clemson is the first real threat Alabama has had in over a decade.

Swinney and the Tigers kicked our behinds, there's no defending that. It was awful. But it could be the wake-up call Saban's team needs. They aren't just going to run through the entire league anymore. The rest of the country is catching up and Alabama needs to play like they haven't won in a decade.

This was the fourth time these two teams have met in four years. And contrary to some outlets who don't like to tell the whole story, Alabam and Clemson are now 2-2 in their College Football Playoff series. And I have a feeling the 2019-20 season will hold the tiebreaker.

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New Year, New Home

Moving into the new year...

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moving www.youtube.com


As 2018 comes to a close, it's a perfect time to reflect on everything that's happened this year. One thing that's helped me with that recently has been the process of moving. From looking back on the past to getting ready for new beginnings, packing up my old things and clearing out my room has reminded me of both the tangible and memorable experiences not just from this year, but in the past decade I've spent in Atlanta. This short cinematic film is a recollection of the memories of my childhood home and the ride we've been on this year, a microcosm of thoughts from the past 365 days.

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