Tuesday, September 8, 2009

This might come as a surprise

Yes, this is another sports topic. Either deal with it or skip reading today. Thanks, and have a nice day.

Now, ever since I was about 10, the NFL has been my favorite sport. I always look forward to Sundays in fall and winter (relative term for those of us in Houston). I have and will watch any NFL game both in person and on TV. I read about the NFL. I watch highlights, analysis, and news on various channels. I anticipate Peter King's Monday column. Fantasy football is always fun, as are pick 'em leagues and survival football. The NFL has always been my favorite. A close second has been college football. But, the times, they are a-changin'.

I think, as of this year, college football has surpassed the NFL as my favorite sport. Perhaps since I went to Tulane and didn't really experience big time college football (understatement alert) unless I went to Texas games. (Photo caption: 2005 Rose Bowl. Note fellow Tulane alum and, apparently, a bigger Green Wave fan than me, Mike Naaman.) But, it took some time for me to come around.

Each game means more in college. State pride is on the line. When Texas plays (and beats two out of three times) Ohio State, more than a game or bowl game is on the line. It's a referendum on two different ways of life. The right way and the wrong way. Yeah, the Texans have beaten the Bengals. But it doesn't mean the same. Not even close. The passion, the hatred, the intensity are all dialed up in college football. Sure, we all joke around with the Aggies, but when the Aggies win (36 out of 115 times, for the record) it stings more than the Texans losing to the Colts. And don't even get me started on the Red River Shoot Out. Last year, I was so consumed with the game I may or may not have started a small to medium grease fire in somebody else's kitchen. May or may not have.

I remember one Christmas I gave my cousin Jay (an Ohio State grad) a Michigan shirt. He told me he was forced to wear it inside out by his roommates and could only wear it if he had no other shirts. And only in the house. Tell me that isn't passion. And they went to school in the Big 10!! Not even in the Big 12, let alone Texas.

Kieth Jackson vs. Al Michaels. Come on, it's not even close. Seeing a kid only a few years or months out of Algebra scoring touchdowns or making open field tackles is much cooler than enormous professionals doing the same. Not to take anything away from the pros, but it's not as exciting.

If you see somebody in a Texans shirt at the airport in Chicago, you may or may not say hi. But if you see somebody in UT gear, you say hook 'em as you walk by. I remember 2 years ago, in New Orleans, Trey and I were both wearing UT shirts. We were in the elevator at our hotel. It was only the two of us in the elevator, and a man in OU gear hit the button one floor down. He looked at us, sized us up, and declared he'd take the next elevator. Come on, that doesn't happen if he's wearing a Chicago Bears shirt and we're in Dolphins hats.

Am I late to the party? Yes. But is it the right party? I think so. Weigh in, please; let me know what your favorite sport is and why. And please, no jokes about Tulane. Tulane won the Sugar Bowl in 1934. And don't forget Tulane narrowly lost to the Havana Athletic Club 11-0 in the 1909 Bacardi Bowl. (Note: Tulane was coached by Buster Brown. I kid you not.)


Trey said...

That's weird. I flipped the other way just recently. The games are so much fun in college, but at the end of the year it just gets annoying. For instance, I'm pretty sure that if both OU and BYU go undefeated the rest of the year, OU will be in the title game, not BYU. Hell, if they forgot about week 6 or 7 last year when Texas beat OU, what's gonna keep them from forgetting about week 1? Plus most games are blowouts and in the NFL you can develop out of division rivalries like Colts-Pats as opposed to college where Texas-Ohio State has only happened 3 times in 100+ years. Give me NFL. Don't get me wrong, I love both, but NFL is definitely my favorite.

Will said...

This will never happen again, so remember it - I agree 100% with Vik Vij.

Trey - that is a terrible if(OU/BYU), but if it comes true I'm coming after you for saying it.

Crystal said...

College football is the best sport around, hands down. And if Texas goes back to Pasadena this year....my holiday vacation may be there!

Andy Singh said...

What - Jay wore a michigan t-shirt?! Wearing it inside-out is no excuse. I don't event know how he wore that shirt inside out without the emblem burning his skin.

College football > NFL, primarily because the Bengals are consistently bad.

Trey said...

Will- it won't come true because Texas will beat OU AGAIN, but hypothetically, I think that would be well within the realm of possibility for the BC$.

William said...

College Football.

Laura said...

Same way I feel about college basketball

Wes said...

I prefer the NFL for numerous reasons. Including, but not limited to, 1) execution 2) incredible athletes 3) no student-athlete facade.

However, I do love my Aggies above any other sports team. Do cults count? We are all delusional.