Pro vs. College sports

Rivalries aside, pro sports are more appealing to watch than the collegiate ranks. In watching pro sports, a viewer can feel comfortable in the idea that they are watching the best at their craft. And, a viewer inherently knows that the players are the valuable commodities, which are compensated for that value. This concept just makes me feel good when watching as opposed to when watching college sports. Regarding collegiate athletics, the focus revolves around the coach of a team more than the players or the school itself, with a few exceptions. Which makes sense…since players circulate through the ranks so fast. The coaches are mainstays.

Even with that, I still do not find that a coach should be deemed the most valuable, especially when considering that most schools recruit themselves. Coaches are the only people paid for their services that entertain thousands, if not million, so it goes that they are the most valuable, which is not really accurate. Outside of Coach K, Vince Lombardi, Coach Wooden and Red Auerbach many coaches are very much as replaceable if not more so than players. The professional ranks seems to reflect that concept in the haste at which coaches turnover. But college coaches get tenure like professors it seems.

It’s hard to watch a game where the credit is not adequately attributed to the individuals making the operation function–the players. We cheer when a kid throws, while another catches, a touchdown pass, not when a timeout is called. It’s the execution we adore, not the mystery play design. But make no mistake that success, at any level of athletics, is a result of a great symbiotic relationship between players and coaches.

Pro sports are more appealing to watch because you know you are watching the best. It’s about the players too. Just look to the effect LeBron James had on the Miami Heat fan base. Exemplifying that the power is in the player. It is an awesome recognition of the power of the talent, which should come as no surprise considering that the player is the one performing, sacrificing, and risking their health.

Pro sports are more enjoyable to watch because those sports more accurately reflect the free market that America was built upon. In America, a customer may be a huge fan of Chevrolet because the Corvette is their favorite car. But once another car of a different brand becomes their favorite by way of superior engineering which creates a better driving experience, it would make sense for that customer to proclaim that other brand as their favorite. And no one would harass that customer for being a fair weather customer or jumping on the band wagon. It’s not bad to like the best, unless you’re a Hipster. Brand management is an essential operation to a business just as providing the best product. Having the best product is best for business. And Pro sports are all about getting the best.

I guess I’m a fan of talent and the entertainment value when watching sports, which bears no allegiance to an organization. Thus, I prefer to watch the best no matter who they play for.
But me likening pro sports more than collegiate athletics really has to do with the state of collegiate athletics. Maybe when the NCAA is accurately described as a farm league for the professional ranks; and when it’s permissible to reward those collegiate athletes with incentives beyond a non-guaranteed scholarship, then I can enjoy watching as much as I do professional sports.

Lastly, the fact that someone can potentially become a billionaire for precisely picking all the choices for the March Madness Basketball bracket is ridiculous, while players still can’t get paid. The NCAA value will increase because of everyone tuning in to watch games. This should be making the case–further–to pay NCAA athletes.

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