Monday, September 1, 2014

College football's new playoff system and what it brings

For the next three years, the NCAA FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) will be going to a new four-team playoff system that will determine the NCAA Division 1 national champions. Instead of taking teams that have the best records, the selection committee will select the four best teams based on many factors including: strength of schedule, head-to-head results, and performances against common opponents. Teams that don't make the playoff will be eligible to play in other bowls. Now that I've given a little background; I would like to discuss the pros and cons of the new playoff system. The obvious pro is the fact that we won't have to deal with anymore ridiculous coaches and computer polls that don't understand the real meaning each game has or doesn't have. These kinds of polls have led to bias among teams and these biases have kept some teams from playing in a bowl game or even a national championship. However, this is also a con for the playoff system. In essence teams cannot lose one game through the course of the season otherwise they are out of contention to play for the national championship. The BCS system rewarded teams that beat teams they were supposed to beat as well as the teams who beat teams they weren't supposed to beat. In the playoff system teams must win both. The teams that wormed their way into a big bowl (Hawaii, 2008 Sugar Bowl) won't be able to play a weak schedule and expect to make it to the big dance under the new playoff system. As much as I like seeing the underdog win, some of the teams that took advantage of the BCS system and made it in a bowl shouldn't have made it. I'm not saying that's always the case because some MAC and WAC teams have proven themselves like Boise State. On the business side, the playoff system will give each school in the 11 conferences and equal shot at earning some money. When in the BCS system, the automatic qualifying conferences got a lot of the money. Either way, sticking with the playoff system or going back to the BCS system, every team will be excited to get on that field and play football. I wish it was that easy. I was never around during the times when football was played for what it brought to athletes on a personal level instead of a wallet level. Hopefully, we will eventually find a system that puts more focus on what the sport brings to the athletes and the pride it brings to the school instead of giving more money to people who already have an overabundance of money. Especially in the United States where over 35% of the nations wealth belongs to only 1% of the population.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Should college athletes get paid or be allowed to receive gifts?

It seems like every year the topic of whether collegiate athletes should get paid or be allowed to receive gifts for participating in athletics comes up. The NCAA makes several billions of dollars off of student athletes per year. There are shirts made with names like Tim Tebow, Sam Bradford, and several others who don't see a cent. It is their faces and names on these jerseys and shirts, but why aren't they getting at least a percentage of what is sold? They put their body through everything but hell itself, and they aren't getting paid for it. Why is this? Many professionals have been quoted in saying, "They are students first, and athletes second." I agree with this. I feel like if college athletes started to get paid, we would just be speeding up the process of them having to deal with the real world and the kinds of people big money attracts. These are kids between the ages of 18 and 22, and we would be forcing them to grow up faster. I could see more and more college athletes turning into spoiled brats (e.g. Terrell Owens, Chad Ochocinco, etc.). Is this what we want? Athletes who contribute more to the media, than on the field? Let me bring up a point for the other side. If college athletes were paid while still in college, do you think more would stay and get their degree? I mean that is what they are there for, even though a lot of the "stars" leave as soon as they can or play until their senior year and go to the pros. I'd like to point out without these college athletes there would be no money for the fat cats that work for the NCAA, but we all know these athletes will never stop playing. As much as they complain and as much as they and former players beg and bring up all kinds of lawsuits, the NCAA will keep making billions of dollars off of college athletes, for the sole reason of everyone is happy. College athletes get access to a PR utopia through the college. A very expensive PR dip in the pool, but they are able to get their names on jerseys. They are able to get these professional teams to look at them, and sign them to big ridiculous contracts. They probably make more in a year than I probably will make in my entire life.  Hell, some even get a degree and a hefty contract. So, what I say to these college athletes who complain about not getting paid, "stop bitching and play the damn game!"

Monday, June 30, 2014

Does the term "football" belong to Europe or America?

After attending a school that has soccer as a fall sport instead of football; I've become more appreciative of the sport of soccer. This brings me to my reason for writing this article. The topic I've heard come up several times while I've attended USAO, is changing the name of soccer to football, and changing the name of American football to something else. At first I was one of those people who said it was a ridiculous idea. I thought the audacity these people who are in America who are not from here to say we should change the name of American football was outrageous. However, this got me thinking. I did some research and I discovered this notion has some validity and reason behind it. Soccer has been a sport much longer than American football. There have been records of games that resemble soccer being played during the Han Dynasty in China. Modern American football started in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. If this isn't reason enough, soccer is actually played with your "foot", hence the name "football." In American football, the only player that consistently uses his foot is the place kicker, punter, and occasionally the quarterback or running back for teams who use the "quick kick" to catch the opposing team off guard. Aside from that, no one else uses their feet. I grew up with the sport of football, and I barley knew soccer existed until I went to college. I am still hesitant about changing the name of American football, but, I wanted to inform everyone that there are some good points for the sport of soccer. Now I want to bring up a point in defense for American football. During the 20th century, many people in Britain referred to European football as, "soccer." This continued until 1980, when many of them used the names, "soccer" and "football" interchangeably. To sum it all up, the whole reason americans call it soccer is because of the British. Both sides have valid arguments. Personally, I think I'll stick to calling American football, "football" and European football, "soccer." It's what I grew up on and I'll raise my kids on. But, I do believe knowing both sides of the story from two different views is important in making a decision. I imagine americans will continue calling their football, "football" and Europe's football, "soccer." It's just how the cookie crumbles.