I have little interest, if at all, in tonight's Big Game. "What big game is that?", you ask. I'm told that Florida is playing Oklahoma for a so-called national championship of American football. I'm not here to poop all over some one's fun. I'm sure there are a number of folks in Gainsville, Florida and Norman, Oklahoma who are putting their lives on hold to see the game. Good for them. If Notre Dame or Indiana happened to be in this game, I would be more enthused. Indiana, because it's my alma mater and Notre Dame, because I was raised in South Bend. I figure locals and students should appropriately go crazy and enjoy the game.
What I don't like is the reality of college sports. It boils down to a place of learning sponsoring a professional team in order to raise money through TV revenue and alumni contributions. What results is exploitation of the student body. This includes the players given only a scholarship for a chance to earn a diploma. Many of the student-athletes would not qualify for admission under normal circumstances and are left with a few credit hours and are ill-trained for anything but football. How about the high school valedictorians across the nation who can't afford to go to school? Face it. Of two students at a particular high school, the star athlete has a better chance to be granted a full scholarship than the top student. The student not participating in sports gets no perks from the sports program. They get no tutors. They get no reduction in tuition. Their professors are paid a small fraction of the head football coach's salary.
The debate about this game is whether or not it determines the national champion. Should there be a playoff system? Give me a break. The game is basically won or lost by the college that is stupid enough to throw the most money at coaches, sports facilities, and bogus scholarships for athletes. If Oklahoma University wins, does that make it the best school in the nation? Of course not. Is the team the best football team in the land ? No. There are 32 NFL teams that are better. Besides this, the purity of amateur sports is lost.
I hope it's a good game and the students, locals, and players have a rewarding experience, because that's all they have to gain.