What Football Ought to Be.

They’re all still just people, playing the same exact game; football, for the same exact goal; to win a championship, for the same reason; uhh…no not for the same reasons. The reasons why each play the game is

the main reason professional football has taken a backseat to collegiate football; because college football is what football ought to be. In professional football, you have many effects that take away from the game itself, whereas in college football you have the game, and the love for the game…and people see that.

In 2005 the top paid player in the NFL was Michael Vick at $ 37.5 million. Sure, not every professional football player makes that much but they still make quite a bit (Who is the highest paid athlete…).The average salary in the NFL is approximately $1.18 million dollars a year, not bad considering someone with a job that pays six figures is considered rich. If that’s rich what does that make these guys? The worst part of this is that there are 57 players on a team…only about 35-40 actually get in the game (Howstuffworks *fact site).That means that the other 10-15 players are getting paid unbelievable figures for just looking good in uniform, I guess. Now don’t get me wrong it’s not the amount of money they make that deters fans from watching them, no, it’s the fact that some players aren’t happy making millions, upon millions of dollars. To me I can’t stand greed, especially greed for more when you’re already making more money then 95 percent of the people in America. In contrast to that, the highest paid college player is currently suspended…for getting paid.

Training Camp is a staple of the National Football League, every year around the middle of July, camps begin to open, but that’s rarely the big news. No, it’s the most recent big name hold out, the players who now says they aren’t getting paid what they deserve and won’t step onto the field until they get it. The first thing wrong with that is who’s to say what they’re worth, especially when they’re already technically “worth” a hell of a lot more then any everyday worker in America. There are many examples of holdouts in the NFL and all of them happen the exact same way. The player and his agent decide they want more money, and then the player just doesn’s show up until their agent and the team’s front office work out a deal suitable to the player. The whole process is quite sickening when you actually sit down and think about it. In 2005, Terrell Owens and agent Drew Rosenhaus decided that the Philadelphia Eagles weren’t paying him enough; the previous year he earned about $9 million, so he held out from training camp. The Eagles organization did exactly what they should have done, nothing, they made Owens and Rosenhaus search for other ways out. To me that’s just unbelievable, the guy made $9 million and he wasn’t happy, just about any other person in America would be ecstatic to make even half of that, but he wasn’t (Beil). So, obviously pro football players are quite a different breed compared to collegiate football players.

There is a reason the word student comes first in student-athlete. They go to school, they do homework, they take tests, and then they play football. That has got to be one of the toughest things to do, continue to work hard everyday in school and afterwards go and work as hard as they can at football. Without a doubt these people want to play football and they clearly love the game. What other reason could you give why they do what they do, because only a very, very few percentage of college players actually are drafted into the NFL and make lots of money. It’s not like football is their job, no, school is their job, and football is just their passion. The biggest positive about the student-athlete is players are subject to become academically ineligible. This ensures that they keep up their grades and don’t get too focused on just football, because school is the most important thing. That in itself sends a great message to the youth of America, especially the ones playing sports in high school and earlier. The NFL doesn’t influence the youth of America as much as the college does…at least not in the good ways.

Although deep down the college game is a more pure form of football, that doesn’t always mean it’s more popular. It won’t be, it won’t ever be more watched than the NFL just because it’s the NFL. That means something apparently, but that doesn’t stop the hordes of fans making the switch over to the collegiate game. The 2006 Rose Bowl was the highest rated college football game since 1987 at 21.7 and total of 93,986 people attended the game. Not only that game had a huge turn-out, overall the average TV rating for the bowl season increased by 15 percent (BCSfootball – TV Ratings). For college games that’s good because there is no chance they will be able to pass up the NFL’ s Super Bowl. Most consider the Super Bowl the biggest television event of the year. This past Super Bowl garnered 141.4 million viewers, second only to the 1981 series finale of M*A*S*H (Press). The NFL, unlike college football, is a television monster. You can’t escape it, they’ve cornered the televisoin market. They pretty much own Sunday’s and everybody waits for Monday night’s. It’s not because the NFL is more enjoyable to watch or because it’s the only game on. It’s because in NFL team’s budgets is a very big spot for marketing and television related media. Universities do not spend any money advertising their sports teams; you never see commercials on collegiate athletic programs, just their school as an academic instituition, that’s because they take the money and put it into their academics….the thing that REALLY matters.

To tell the truth college football will never, ever get the television ratings that the NFL gets. The NFL is a business. Their business…football, and they take it seriously, too seriously. The players get too greedy when it comes to their money and they let the business part of the game spill over into the actual game of football. When that happens it’s no longer just a game, the players are no longer playing for pride and love of the game. They’re playing for a paycheck, they’re playing for fame, and they’re playing for themselves. Those student-athletes playing college football, they don’t play for money, because they can’t get paid. They don’t play for fame, most play at schools no one’s ever heard of. They DO play for pride, they play for school pride. It’s their school, they’ll forever call it their school, and will want to leave a legacy. Everyday they go to class, do their work, and go to practice. They play football for pure love of the game, they play because they want to, they play football because it is the greates team sport ever, and they know that. People notice that, everytime you watch a college game you can tell those kids love the game, but when someone watches an NFL game or hear news concerning a player you wonder. They wonder why they play the game, because it’s not for the same reasons the college players play, the real reasons you should play, which make college football what real football ought to be.