Thursday, January 05, 2006

I Don't Get College Sports...
Something that is sort of relevant at this time of year is all of the college "Bowl" games that take place. I must admit, that I do not see either the point, nor the allure, of college athletics to the general public.

I have done a little (read: very little, mostly just asking around) research into the huge phenomenon of colege sports. What makes them so popular? Why are vast sums of money being spent on athletics when it should be used on education? How is it that colleges can, with a straight face, claim that these guys are "scholar/atheletes", when most of them are inarticulate punks (doubt it? Watch the pre- and post-game interviews)?

Well, I got some interesting answers.

The first reason it's so popular, I'm told, is that there are some places in this country that just don't have access to professional sports, of any kind, or at least, of the more popular kind (football, basketball, baseball). True, I thought -- there's not much in the way of pro sports to be found in Boise, Anchorage or Missoula, for sure. So, yes, I can see where college sports might have appeal in these entertainment-starved markets. That, however, doesn't explain the popularity of these games in markets that are literally drenched in professional sports teams(read: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago).

Which leads to the second biggest reason; it's a chance to see tomorrow's pro superstars today.
To which I add: so what? You could do that at any minor league level (although, admittedly, it's not as if all sports actually have a minor league. Like the NBA, for instance) if you're really that interested. And by the way, minor leagues ARE pro in every way except the paychecks. Minor leaguers do get paid to play. The excitement of watching an athlete advance by stages seems lost on me.

So, what's left? Why, betting, of course.

Wagering of all types takes place at all hours of the day, and when your pro team is not worth betting on or perhaps not even playing, why there's always college sports. College sports takes in more betting, per annum, than professional sports. With the vast number of teams out there, you can always find a bet. Even Division III sports have a line on them. In this regard, college sports is merely another outlet for the degenerate gambler. The annual Bacchanalia known as "March Madness" probably generates more gambling revenue than the Super Bowl and World Series combined. I can't prove that, of course, but you don't see all that many office pools for the ALCS, do you?

So, having figured out that college sports are a) for people who don't have other means of entertainment, b) for people who just can't get enough sports, even those played at lesser level, c) degenerate gamblers and d) those who look at young athletes not as people but as livestock, I have decided that I will remain aloof and not give a turd.

In the meantime, someone try to figure out how it is that Patrick Ewing got a degree in Art History (from Georgetown!), how legitimate is it, and get back to me on it.

2 comments: said...

Interesting theory, but I don't know where I've seen anything other than fans proposing their own lines on Division III games.

Matthew said...

Bets on lower-tier college sports are routinely taken in both Las Vegas and Atlantic City casinos.