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?
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
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.
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 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
“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” ….
Notable headwear — Houndstooth, The Visor
PAUL JOHNSON AND OPTION FOOTBALL
The sun setting over the San Gabriel Mountains on New Year’s Day
New Year’s Day in general
Dotting the “i”
Floyd of Rosedale
Okay, all the crazy B1G trophies
SEC > B1G, of course
Play Like a Champion Today
The Power T
Yes, “Rocky Top”
“The Voice of [insert school here]”
“I’M A MAN! I’M 40!”
A sea of red
“You are looking live …”
And, yes, Yell Leaders
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
The Circle Drill
Uncle Verne — if only for one more year
Catholics vs. Convicts
and Gerard Phelan
The Head Ball Coach
The flaming spear
The tomahawk chop
Faurot Field’s north endzone
The fifth down
The flea kicker
Byron Leftwich on one leg
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.