I went to a college football game yesterday, UNC versus NC State. It was lots of fun, even though my team, UNC lost. It was a great game and every time I get the chance to go to a college football or basketball game I have fun. I really want to go to a college hockey game as I really like hockey, I did get to go to a club hockey game once when I was still in DE. College sports have many things that the pro games do not have. The players want to be there, they are not being paid to play the game. Ok so some of them may be paid, but that is against the rules so I would hope that this is a small minority of players. Also many of these players will never become stars or even play in the major leagues of their respective sports, but they play hard each and every play. Also since these are college kids, there are times where things seem to be so much more in the air as they will make mistakes that wouldn't be made in the pros.
This game was a rivalry game which only really seems to exist in college games. I know any of the cities with multiple teams in a sport claim to have rivalries, but it is not the same. In my opinion, you cheer for the team that you grow up cheering for or where you live when it comes to pro sports. But college sports seems to be so much more, you cheer for where you or your child(ren) or relatives went to school. You see families split between UNC and Duke or UNC versus NC State, you see splits in families between Florida and Florida State, Oregon and Oregon State, Michigan versus Ohio State. There is more feeling in these rivalries, I know almost no households where they are as split as what happens when two college rivals play each other and the couple or the children went to the two rival schools. In a stadium of over 60,000 or more a majority of these people have never played football or basketball or any other sport at the school they are cheering for, but they went to that school or someone they know and love did or does and so they cheer. I can cheer for the Steelers and I love the Steelers, but really I know no one who has ever played or even worked in or around the Steeler organization.
I cheer for the UD Blue Hens because that is where I got my undergrad, I cheer for the UNCG Spartans where I got my master (who beat Georgia Tech on Friday night, Go Spartans!!!!), I cheer for UNC in basketball because basically I have liked them since I was in elementary school and it is the reason that I started to look at going to an NC school when I was first looking at colleges (kind of embarrassing, but true). I cheer for whoever in college football, sure I like UNC, but they are not really a football school, so sometimes I kind of cheer for whoever I feel like. I do not have the same animosity toward Cleveland or Baltimore or Philadelphia in football, Philly or the Islanders or the Ranger in hockey and even the Yankees as I do toward Duke, Florida State, Ohio State or Penn State in all college sports. I do not care what the sport is I cheer against those teams, from football to basketball to swimming, softball, baseball or badminton, I want to see FSU, Duke, OSU and PSU lose to whoever they are competing against. That is why college sports are great, the love is deeper and the hate is stronger. I know there are those out there who do not care for sports and so you may not understand, but I also know that there are plenty of people who could care less about pro sports, but when it comes to their alma mater they will cheer just as hard as anyone else. So, go out and support your alma mater or a local college team and see some kids who work damn hard to compete and have fun.