'Strategic Entertainment' vs. Entertaining Entertainment: The Flip Side of the NFL-CFB Debate - Sports Illustrated
Jul 11, 2018 4:17 PM - 6 days, 10 hours, 26 minutes, 48 seconds ago
As you may have read elsewhere, college football and pro football are not exactly the same. But the two levels' differences are what make them great—and particularly appealing to certain types of people.
July 11, 2018
When I awoke and wiped the trickle of drool from the corner of my mouth, I thought a little more about Benoit’s carefully reasoned analysis of why the NFL’s narrower hash marks make for a more precise dhsiqhohwiodfhiuewoihaoucn;duibcbadubxibu….
When I awoke again, it occurred to me that I don’t want strategic entertainment. I want entertaining entertainment. That’s what college football provides. To use Andy’s own words, it is “loose and sloppy.” To put it in terms Andy and his analytical ilk will appreciate, those are features—not bugs. (Benoit also compared college football to “a fourth-grader’s handwritten notebook.” Great line, but there sure seem to be a lot of NFL coaches leafing through said notebook to borrow schematic innovations.) To Andy, “comparing college to pro is like comparing a small town community theatre to Broadway.” It’s actually more like comparing a particularly plain episode of
Avengers: Infinity War. One gets the job done. One is a spectacularly wasteful, probably unnecessary, overly long thrill ride that you’ll be quoting for the next 20 years.
It’s not that one brand of football is necessarily superior to the other as a product. It’s that they appeal to different personality types. Unlike Andy, who admits to not watching college football, I do watch the NFL. I don’t watch it as closely in the regular season because I spend most of Sunday working, but I can dig deep into the playoffs. These games, which feature the best playing the best, are usually pretty dull compared to decent college football games. It’s no wonder the NFL has clock rules that allow the game to end as quickly as possible. Die-hard college football fans wish games would last forever—and Arkansas and Ole Miss once played a seven-overtime game that almost did last forever.
It’s probably better for business for college football and for the NFL that both feel like separate products. Millions of people love both but favor one over the other. Andy laid out the arguments for the people who like the NFL better. I would absolutely hire those people to build a bridge. Their love of precision and order would come in handy. The people who like college football better? That’s who I’m inviting to the cookout.
Let’s go point-by-point through Andy’s arguments to explain why those who love fun embrace college football more and those who remind the teacher that she forgot to assign homework embrace the NFL more.
“In college, it’s 1–4 years.”
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