College football keeeps fans on their toes

By Elizabeth Campbell, Editor-in-Chief

The kicker lines up to kick the 30-yard field goal. The crowd is going crazy. The ball is snapped and the kicker winds up. Suddenly everything changes. The person holding the football for the kicker suddenly stands up and throws the ball to a receiver wide open downfield. Boom! Touchdown.

That is something one would never see in professional football.

College fans never know when the quarterback could go for a back pass and a receiver could end up throwing a touchdown, like when Texas wide receiver Jordan Shipley threw to quarterback Case McCoy in the Sept. 17, 2011 game against UCLA. They never know for certain if when the team lines up to punt on fourth down that they are actually going to punt, like when Villanova pulled a fake punt and fumblerooski (an intentional fumble and fake by the QB to distract the defense and leave the running back open) to score a 50-yard touchdown in the Aug. 31, 2013 game against Boston College.

According to a 2011 LA Times article, professional football coaches risk their jobs when calling trick plays while college coaches see it as necessary to win.  Plays like these keep the college game exciting in ways that professional football just cannot.

Besides keeping the f+ans on their toes, college football coaches care more about the fans than professional ones: Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald is known for talking with the student section before the games, and he has even given some of the students free pizza. An NFL coach rarely even waves at fans, let alone brings them free food.

College fans are also just more spirited than NFL fans. The stands at college games are packed with more people wearing wacky outfits, with dyed hair or painted chests. The reason college fans are way more spirited than NFL fans is because there is more on the line.

Sure, NFL teams can win some glory or maybe a monetary bonus if they win a game, but they can’t win an over 6-foot long axe. In the formerly annual historic Wisconsin vs. Minnesota game, the winner gets to walk away with that impressive axe and bragging rights for at least another year.  The winners of the UCLA vs. USC game get to bask in the glory of victory as they ring the hallowed victory bell. The NCAA is stuffed with passionate team rivalries like these, keeping fans energized as schools battle it out for fantastic trophies.

The best part of college football is how well CHS students can relate to it. It is incredibly unlikely anyone from CHS will ever go on to start for an NFL team, however a college team is much more attainable. Students have at most four years and others just months, until they themselves will be on a college campus. They can envision themselves either on the team or screaming themselves hoarse in the stands.

Next time the weekend rolls around Bulldogs, try watching college football for a change and save Sunday for your last minute attempt to do homework.