Sitting at my desk, closing out the day with some sports-radio analysis of National Signing Day for college football. Remember when today meant something before the advent of the early signing period? I get why things have changed. But for me, it’s just one more nail in the coffin of the college football fan experience that I was raised with as a kid in the Deep South. Throw in all the turnover nowadays via the Transfer Portal, and I fear that CFB is becoming the NFL, which is to say, it’s a sport of mercenaries. There’s no loyalty to the colors or the community — or the program, in this instance. It’s all about “get me to the League or I’m out to someplace that will.”
I threw a party for the ages in 2002 when my Buccaneers went to the Super Bowl. This year, I’ll celebrate with frozen pizza and maybe some takeout wings because I honestly couldn’t be more indifferent about the outcome. If Tampa wins, great. If they don’t, whatever. Every one of those players still makes millions to play a game, and I’ll still be up at 4:30 am the next morning to work on my next novel. That’s not sour grapes. I just know my place on the ‘sports is a business’ totem pole.
In closing, I say all that to say this: I don’t want college football to become the NFL. I want to care about the program and university that I grew up with, the one that I gave four years of my life to between undergrad and grad school. I don’t want to be indifferent, and yet I’m afraid that’s exactly where this is headed.
Only time will tell, I suppose. In the meantime, there’s always college baseball.