College teams tackle professional leagues

Adam Kaplan, Sports Editor

One hundred yards long, 53 yards wide– between the white lines there is very little difference between college and NFL football.

Sure, in college you only need one foot in-bounds to make a catch and in the NFL you need two, but the real difference lies off the gridiron.

I’ve been watching NFL football since before I could speak. My family lives and breathes the sport; however in recent years the NFL has done things to leave a bad taste in my mouth.

After years of being hesitant to switch to watching college football, I finally made the transition, and it was a breath of fresh air.

As I watched college teams battle it out on the field, I saw something that was missing in the NFL: people enjoying football for what it should be– a game.

After watching both levels of the sport, I realized college football is a game, while professional football is a job.

As a fan, it is so much easier to get emotionally attached to the sport when there is passion.

College players choose where they want to go to school, and there is a family dynamic that makes the teams inseparable. The way NFL players leave teams makes it seem like that dynamic is less prevalent.

It’s heartbreaking how little some pro players seem to care about the game. Sure, they are putting in all their effort, but a lot of the time they are motivated only by getting a higher salary.

For example, Albert Haynesworth received $100 million after an All-Pro season, but since then, he has failed to reach the same level of play and was cut from the Washington Redskins for being lazy, according to head coach Mike Shanahan.

When Haynesworth decided not to play his hardest, it felt like a punch in the gut to me as a football fan.

Haynesworth is not the only example of players underachieving on purpose, there are a myriad of other NFL-ers doing this, including Vince Young, Jamarcus Russell and more recently, Dashon Goldson.

College football is a new fascination for me as I try to learn its unique style.

Sure more people watch the Super Bowl, but for me, there is nothing better than watching the Red River Rivalry between The Universities of Texas and Oklahoma.

Remember it’s called “The game of football” and that’s how it should remain: a game.