Thursday, August 30, 2007
Its Labor Day weekend
This holiday weekend marks the beginning of one sport’s season, and the beginning of the end of another. It is a great time of year, but not without a bit of controversy.
The ‘old guard’ Nascar fan still stings from not having the ‘tradition’ of the Southern 500 in Darlington. It is ironic that they feel this way however, as many of their claims originate from their perceived ‘greed of Nascar’. While there is no doubt that Nascar is financially strong, and yes does generate large profits, there is a key reason for this.
The ‘old guard’ still wants to see races on a ‘regional level’, in venues that are near the ‘roots’. While this is convenient for them, they also want to see nationwide sponsorship for their favorite drivers. The problem is that one can’t have that both ways. If one desires Nascar to ‘keep it’s southern roots’, then don’t expect to maintain the nationwide exposure (i.e. sponsorship) and TeVee time.
Will there be some empty seats at Caly this weekend? Probably. But the total race attendance will still be significantly greater than if the race was held at its ‘traditional venue’. Plus, (like it or not) the opportunities for untapped exposure of the sport to new and potential sponsors are much greater in Southern California, than in South Carolina. And remember, the last half dozen or so Southern 500s had empty seats as well. That fact maybe more of a product of the holiday weekend and not the race venue.
Labor day weekend also makes the start of the College Football season and for many, it can’t get here soon enough. Here are a few items to prime the season.
This weekend, it begins. It's what many of us have waited ALL YEAR for. If I stop long enough and really think about it.......it brings chills.
What really is important in life? The really important stuff are our spouses, our children....family.
Of course that IS number one.
But we are part of that unique obsessive breed that love and adore college football. Others not in this category say.....'It’s just a game.' Technically they are correct. But in reality it's not just a game. It is a very important part of our lives. It is a vital fuel that keeps us going and gives us strength.
During World War II the American public went to movies to get that precious moment of 'escape.' A moment where we could escape and dream and hope during very difficult times as loved ones fought for our freedom.
Today, for many, the escape in the fall is College Football. We love hearing the bands, the roar of the crowd, and our devotion to those on the gridiron that we don't even know become our heroes. Our devotion to our sport is somewhat bizarre. Here's a unique mind experiment. Let's say, for example that one-year for some unexplained bizarre reason that the entire squad of Oklahoma decided to transfer to LSU and the entire squad of LSU decided to swap and transfer to Oklahoma. It wouldn't matter.......that's OUR TEAM no matter what the players names are. We don't know the players but they are OUR guys and that's all that matters.
The NFL?......that is the arena where we get to watch 'our guys' get their monetary reward and we are happy for them and want them to succeed. But pro ball isn't college ball. College football is where the true glory is.
Why are college stadiums on the whole so much bigger than pro stadiums? Ask any NFL player that had the unique opportunity to play in the NCAA championship game and the Super Bowl and they will tell you.......NOTHING compares to the college game. Even crucial rivalry games are more important to them than the Super Bowl.
We live through them. We smell the grass, we hear the roar of the crowd, we, in some way, experience the glory they are feeling. We (the crowd) are that other player on the field that cheered and pumped them up to achieve victory. In a way we are a part of 'our team.'
College football isn't 'just a game.' It's an essential and deeply important and psychological part of our lives that even helps us to be better people. Yes, we lose games we shouldn't lose and we 'give up' and want coaches fired and we get on message boards and threaten physical violence to our opponents simply because it draws out the 'passion' in our very being. It's part of the fueling process.
It's not just a game. Every single sportscaster and analyst will tell you......this is the greatest time of the year. No other sport brings out passion like college football. If you don’t believe me, the best example is even Nascar related. Try walking through the camping areas during the fall Dega weekend, and it really doesn’t matter if it is Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. You will see the college football passion first hand. It’s everywhere and just as prominent as the race itself.
Wanna see some passion?
A poll of 42 college football coaches has found some consensus — the Pac-10 Conference has the worst referees. In other news: the Pope is Catholic, water is wet, and the Texas Longhorns still sucks!