This may have been the saddest thing I watched yesterday.
“Where is the loyalty?” The romantic’s creed.
This is what gets me the most about college football. The folks getting paid count on the passion of folks like that fellow. They milk it while relentlessly pushing the envelope with conference realignment, postseason expansion and conference networks with all the scheduling compromises those bring because it allows them to monetize the romance. Then they all share the wealth. As far as what this gentleman is feeling goes, at best he’ll get lip service from those assholes, at least as long as he’s got his checkbook out.
People like him deserve respect and appreciation, but giving him what he’s earned by his love of the game would cost money and that ain’t in the cards. That’s why he got shown the door. (It’s to his credit he didn’t take a swing at the jerk who pushed him out of the room.) The rank cynicism doesn’t make me angry, but it’s impossible not to feel embittered by it.
That’s something I hope some of you realize when we debate amateurism here. While I sometimes grow frustrated with certain commenters’ unwillingness to grasp basic economic realities, I never fail to recognize that at the heart of it lies that same sense of romance that drew us to the game and made us love it in the first place. I may argue with you about it, but I don’t disrespect where you’re coming from.
As for those questions some of you ask me about how I can feel any of the same emotions about college football when this kind of crap drives me up the wall, I have an answer for you. I’m a human being, and one thing human beings do when they’re faced with difficult contradictions is to compartmentalize. Somehow, I manage to separate my feelings for the sport’s financial side from the enjoyment I still get from the purity of the social experience when I go to games, and, of course, the on-field play itself. I’m still good as long as I can do that.
The depressing part is that every year I find maintaining separation harder and harder to manage. At some point, those walls are gonna come tumbling down and that will be the end of it for me. It’s a bittersweet ride, but I’ll stay on board as long as I can. I hope that FSU fan can do the same.