Because college football

For those of you who have spent at least 5 minutes in my vicinity know that I love the game of football. An additional 2 minutes will inform you that I prefer college football over the National. Football. League. Oh, and prior to those first 5 minutes, you know that I have some sort of obsession with the University of South Carolina.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a pretty ardent fan of the Panthers, but, a Panthers loss doesn’t derail my whole weekend like a Gamecocks loss will.

But, it’s not even that. I started to think about why I think college football is better. I started with the Heisman Trophy. Yes, it’s a flawed and increasingly hackneyed award, but, in the case of the Panthers’ starting quarterback — he will be known for winning the NFL MVP this past year, but he will be remembered as a member of that select fraternity of Heisman winners.

But you know what else college football has that the NFL doesn’t?

2001

Alma maters

Student sections

The Hedges

Hook ‘em

Gig ‘em

The Sooner Schooner

“The Boys of Old Florida”

“The Aggie War Hymn”

“Hail to the Victors”

Pretty much any fight song

The Third Saturday in October (you know who is playing in that game)

The Iron Bowl

The Palmetto Bowl

The Egg Bowl

The South’s Oldest Rivalry

The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry, because, yes, that’s different

The Big Game

The Game

These crazy games played in 100-year-old edifices with ancillary seating seemingly bolted on — but hey, it also has a $10 million HDTV or two hanging above. Pay no mind.

Tailgating — yes, I know the NFL has tailgating, but, likely, you’re on campus or at the very least surrounded by the same group that’s been in the same locale for years.

Shakers/Pom-poms/whatever

Cowbells

The Earthquake Game

Death Valley, with 100,000 crazy LSU fans inside, and, you know, the other 100,000 LSU fans who didn’t get in just hanging around outside.

On that note: Mike the Tiger

The Grove

The flight of the War Eagle, which is named “Tiger,” of course

Kordell Stewart to Michael Westbrook

App State winning in the Big House

THE BIG HOUSE

Touchdown Jesus

“ESPN College Gameday”

“Comin’ to your citaaaaaaaay …”

The Wazzu flag at Gameday

The Kick Six

The “Rammer Jammer” cheer

Vince Young …. “he’s got it” ….

The U

Colorful coaches

Notable headwear — Houndstooth, The Visor

Play-calling signs

Schematic variation

PAUL JOHNSON AND OPTION FOOTBALL

The sun setting over the San Gabriel Mountains on New Year’s Day

New Year’s Day in general

PAWWWWWWWWWWWWWLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!

Dotting the “i”

The Ax

Floyd of Rosedale

Okay, all the crazy B1G trophies

SEC > B1G, of course

Play Like a Champion Today

“Enter Sandman”

“Jump Around”

“Sandstorm”

The Power T

Yes, “Rocky Top”

“The Voice of [insert school here]”

#StittHappens

“I’M A MAN! I’M 40!”

A sea of red

“You are looking live …”

Team walks

Upsets

Cheerleaders

And, yes, Yell Leaders

Mascot cemeteries

The Oaks at Toomer’s Corner

Universal disgust at the sicko that killed said oaks

Things that have to be hit or touched on the way out — The Gator Head, the Hokie Stone, the WIN goalpost, etc.

A live, stampeding buffalo

Cannons

Swords

The Circle Drill

Uncle Verne — if only for one more year

Wide Left

Wide Right

Catholics vs. Convicts

Doug Flutie

and Gerard Phelan

The Bear

The Head Ball Coach

Rudy

Chief Osceola

Renegade

The flaming spear

The tomahawk chop

Faurot Field’s north endzone

The fifth down

The flea kicker

The Shaw-shank

Byron Leftwich on one leg

The wishbone

The Fun-n-Gun

The air raid

The Dread Pirate Mike Leach (esq.)

Goalposts going down

Against New Mexico State, no less

Then against Georgia

The Army-Navy Game

Did I leave anything out? Of course I did. That’s the beauty of it. It is this beautiful amalgamation of the tales of your own school, then your own conference and then those moments of the sport as a whole. It has its flaws, it has its less-than-proud moments, but, for me, there’s nothing like it, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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