Justin Vandelinder: College vs. pro
The sporting world is a mystical place.
Most kids start playing their chosen sport at a young age. Progression usually takes them through high school, to college, then – if they are fortunate enough – to the professional ranks.
The NBA used to allow high school seniors to declare for the draft, without a second of college under their belts.
That’s a good thing.
Could you imagine what college basketball would have been like with Kevin Garnett, Tracy McGrady, Amare Stoudemire or Kobe Bryant?
In the sporting universe, I think college is king.
It’s an ongoing debate between myself and others, so let me get you, the reader, involved.
College versus the pros.
The professional level athletes are the best in the world. Yes, this is true.
But, I say they are overpaid athletic machines.
Who should make more money?
Doctor or wide receiver?
Teacher or first baseman?
The president of the United States or Shaquille O’Neal?
In college, the athletes play because they love the games. The pros play for a paycheck.
How many times have you seen, or heard, about a pro athlete in a contract dispute? At least 1,000 times this decade.
Pro athletes will shy away from a 10-year $100 million deal.
Because they want $120 million instead.
Are you kidding?
How much does your lifestyle change if you make $10 million or $12 million a year?
You still drive a Mercedes and live in a mansion.
Oh yeah, they need that extra money to produce hip-hop albums, organize dog-fighting rings and purchase semi-automatic weapons.
I can’t be alone in this, can I?
College sports provide the best of what sports is all about. The athletes achieve the satisfaction of playing the games they love, and, if they don’t get greedy, maybe an education too.
Check out Kansas football last weekend.
Do you think they laid the licks on Nebraska because they wanted a shoe deal?
In contrast, Kobe wants to be traded. He doesn’t like it any more in L.A. Aw. Too bad for Kobe.
What does a college athlete do when he’s riding the pine as a freshman?
Does he request a trade?
No, he waits his turn.
With that said, I will give the pros a leg up in their playoff system.
No flaws there.
In college there is the Final Four – quite possibly the best tournament in all of sports – but, the BCS system in place for college football confuses me more each year, giving the pros the edge there.
Every year, on the biggest stage, approximately one team makes a surprise leap forward.
Rockies, Warriors, Lions.
In the college ranks there are many, every sporting season.
Boise State, Southern Illinois, Vanderbilt, Gonzaga, South Florida, Tulane, Utah, Colorado College.
For those who say it’s more competitive at the highest level, I say this.
For every Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding incident, I’ll throw Rafael Mendoza – the University of Northern Colorado punter stabbed in the leg by teammate Mitch Cozad – right back at you.
I guess the decision is in the eye of the beholder.
I’ll still take football on Saturday, rather than Sunday.
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