Great Debate: The NFL is like a college All-Star league

Let’s get one thing straight. When comparing the NFL to college football, there is no question as to which has the better talent. It goes without saying that NFL players are bigger, faster and stronger simply because they were the crme de la crme in their respective college classes.

Still, there are plenty of other reasons to skip football on Saturdays and plan your Sundays (and Monday nights) around the games that ask, “Are you ready for some football?”

No. 1: Showboating

Fans eat it up when a star player is creative enough to pull a sharpie out of his sock, sign the football and toss it into the stands after scoring a touchdown. Try that in college and your kicker will chew you out for the penalty you just gave him.

No. 2: No marching bands!

Raise your hand if you’ve been sitting in the stands enjoying a college football game when a line of trumpets sitting directly behind you suddenly bellows out “When the Saints Go Marching In” and your nachos go flying onto your date’s pants. Marching bands are so 1920s and need to be done away with. True, there are a couple of exceptions in the NFL — such as Baltimore’s “Marching Ravens” — but there’s a reason 30 teams don’t have one.

No. 3: BCS is BS

Sure, the Utes busted the system in 2004, but did it fix the problem? Nope. The BCS is still alive and kicking and the next time a Boise St. or a TCU breaks in, they’ll just call it another fluke. Fortunately, the NFL doesn’t rely on computers to decide its champions — it has a playoff system that allows teams to duke it out on the gridiron, March Madness style.

No. 4: One bowl, one love

The Super Bowl deserves holiday status right alongside Thanksgiving and Christmas. What other event brings family and friends to gather around the TV once a year to enjoy bean dip, witty beer commercials and a halftime show that causes everyone to choke on their bean dip and shoot beer through their noses? Good times! Americans also spend an average of $55 million on Super Bowl snacks per year. That’s a ho, ho, whole lotta money.

No. 5: The NFL is Madden-ing

Every sport has one. The NBA has Bill Walton. The Cubs had Harry Caray. And the NFL boasts the wisdom of John Madden: “To gain yards, it’s best to move the ball down the field from the line of scrimmage. Who cares if the horse is blind, just load the wagon? BOOM! Tough-actin’ Tenactin.” Sure, the college game might have a few colorful commentators, but none of them have the best freakin’ video game named after them.

No. 6: No stinky mascots

The Saints’ Reggie Bush takes the handoff from Bledsoe, slices between the Dolphins’ Jason Taylor and Joey Porter to find nothing but a clear path of fresh grass to the end zone! He’s down to the 30, the 20, and?oh, my! He slipped on cow dung! The NFL doesn’t have live mascots to crap all over the field, so this scenario will never happen.

No. 7: For love of the game

Anyone who says that college football is better than the NFL because college players simply love the game and play for free apparently doesn’t realize that the NFL has a draft that selects those same game-loving students. Anyone who makes it into the NFL had to “love the game” first. The only difference after they make it to the pros is, it’s OK to accept an Escalade as a bribe.

No. 8: Sweet special effects

The NFL takes pride in its television presentation by spending millions of dollars on outrageous computerized effects. Imagine the starting lineup introductions, for example, where Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin might sit on a throne dressed like Zeus throwing lightning bolts to the ground. Out of each bolt sprouts Alan Faneca, Willie Parker, Hines Ward and the rest of the Steelers’ offense. You get the picture.

No. 9: Fan favorites

It really doesn’t make sense to buy a Brett Ratliff jersey because college players have only four years of eligibility. NFL players don’t graduate or even redshirt. It’s a lot easier to follow a star player in the NFL who will likely stick with one team for a decade.

No. 10: Something to cheer about

NFL cheerleaders. Need I say more?

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