My Love and Hate College Football Jones
So it begins in full force today. I love the excitement of college football. I love the spectacle and the pageantry. I love the hype and anticipation and endless talk-show analysis that leads up to each game. I love the break-away runs as much as a crisply-executed passing attack. I love the big hits and clutch stops on defense. When my team wins, I love watching game highlights over and over and over again. So much of my world centers on the before and after of Saturday.
College football has become far and away my favorite sport. Sure the NBA is fun — but much more so in May and June when the games have more meaning. Three world championships in the last 15 years have made my bittersweet relationship with the Boston Red Sox a lot less urgent than it was when I was younger. Moreover baseball requires such a commitment of time for so little action — the ROI seems doesn’t seem worth it anymore.
But if baseball requires a massive time investment, then college football is even worse. CBS Sports found that average game time in 2014 was almost three and a half hours. And the time-suck aspect pales in comparison to even more serious issues. The more we learn about the long-term impact of head trauma that is a fairly routine occurrence in this game, the more it becomes harder to feel good about my college football fanaticism. Even beyond these concussion issues, I know that this game transforms my personality into someone I don’t particularly like to be. I’m often rude and unpleasant to others as game tension grows. When the Longhorns lose, I complain and sulk for much too long afterwards. Yes, college football re-connects me to my inner child — and in all the worst ways possible.
A lot of the things we enjoy in life have significant negative consequences. At some point, I hope to learn how to overcome this particular one. Until then, my Saturday obsession will continue to leave me very conflicted.