College athletics surpasses professional level
Published: Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 5, 2012 16:09
Scrolling through my Twitter feed last Saturday, the abundance of Bison football tweets I saw was outrageous, yet not too surprising. The team is the most popular around and their opening game against Robert Morris had reached a fever pitch, so of course the social networks had nothing else to talk about.
I decided to join in on the fun but I did not want to tweet the generic #BisoNation or #Gameday or the simple #GoBison. I didn’t even want to use hashtags because those are incredibly overused anyways. No, I decided to go with something much broader than that.
College sports > professional sports.
That was my tweet. Simple, unique compared to others, and pretty darn true. Immediately, favorites and retweets came pouring in. That’s when I really started looking at the statement I made and holy crap, college sports really are a lot better than professional sports. And people agreed.
The level of excitement that is brought on college gameday cannot be matched by the professional level, no matter what the sport. School pride is what sets it apart. Bands playing the school song, students doing the traditional cheers and energized athletes on the field who forge a bond with their teammates off the field because they know none of them are going anywhere.
In college, players and fans don’t have to worry about trades, contract issues, lockouts or referees going on strike. The talent is superior in professional leagues, yes, but so is the drama. Half the NFL coverage on Sportscenter is about happenings off the field. Whether it is arrests, accusations, or conflicts in the locker room, the NFL has turned into a reality series for some fans. I mean come on, the Jets make the Kardashians look like a standard American family.
You don’t hear about that stuff in college sports. Yes, you hear of recruiting violations or other infractions by the University. That is a major issue but that’s for a different discussion. College sports have definitely seen some ugly situations, most recently the Jerry Sandusky pitiful conviction of child molestation.
No matter what the situation is off the field, the team is always together on the field. When Penn State took the football field this last weekend, they came running out as a team with pride instead of broken spirits. The fans’ adoration for their team did not dim one bit. That’s the beauty of college athletics, you have a team and you stick with them.
This Saturday on campus, you could not go anywhere without seeing gold. You could not go on the Internet without seeing something about the Bison game. As I sat in the press box before the game, I was able to see students running into the stands as the doors of the Fargodome were opened. Their faces as they attempted to get seats as close to the field as possible replicated pure joy. While the game was being played, they did not sit once. Not even after the Bison went up 52-0. How awesome is that? You just don’t see that in a NFL game.
After the Bison victory, getting out of the parking lot was a nightmare. I thought I would never get out until a nice man decided to let me sneak in front of him. I showed my appreciation by holding up the horns and he returned the gesture. That was the first time I’ve seen the man and probably my last. But that night, it didn’t matter. We were a part of the same family. We were connected through NDSU and Bison football.
Being a fan of a college team, especially here at NDSU, makes you feel like you’re a part of a community. There is nothing better than seeing two strangers give each other a high-five. And let me tell you something Bison fans, this year, there will be plenty of opportunities to high-five your fellow BisoNation members and hashtag about it.