You know, I’d really like to buy into this kind of thinking:
I have no problem with the so-called commercialization of college sports. The players and coaches who participate in nonrevenue sports aren’t conflicted, either; they know they are kept afloat because of money generated by football and men’s basketball.
The reality is that every industry, including journalism, is trying with varying degrees of success to figure out ways to sustain itself without compromising its values. In some instances, we have had to reconfigure our definition of values.
The challenge for administrators like Hancock is to preserve the collegiate atmosphere even as the event grows. I enjoy the N.F.L. playoffs, but there is a difference that should be preserved between top-tier college football and the N.F.L.
For a traditionalist like Hancock, this means using marching bands, rather than headliner acts, at halftime. It means making sure that the colleges, not corporate sponsors, receive most of the tickets, ensuring that most of the fans in the seats actually — and passionately — care about who wins the game.
But then Hancock has to open his mouth and I realize it’s just a pipe dream.
“It’s important to those of us who are stewards of the game to resist the outside pressures to make it something other than college sports,” Hancock said. “We do not want this to become a Super Bowl or even talk about it as a Super Bowl. We want to create a collegiate feel about the game so that when people leave the event, they knew that they were attending a college football game.”
That’s a tough task, but an achievable one, if university presidents can wrest college football away from the conference commissioners and business interests that have controlled it for decades.
Oh, puh-leeze. If the presidents were that unhappy with the direction their commissioners – fuck it, their employees – were taking their business venture in, they could sack the lot of them. Instead, those guys are getting raises along with everybody else.
The battle over souls was lost a while ago. Don’t try to make this out to be anything other than the commercialized product it is. We’ve had our intelligence insulted enough already.