The questions as to whether college sports offer a higher entertainment value than professional sports has long been debated by sports fanatics for years. In my opinion, college sports has a particular aspect about them that makes them much more entertaining than the professional leagues.
The first factor is the atmosphere of college sports. In professional sports, in order to get a college-like atmosphere you need a game seven of the NBA Finals at Madison Square Garden. But in college sports, especially in football games, every home game is a game seven atmosphere. While we here at UCR have not had that type atmosphere on a consistent basis, when there’s a reason to bring that thundering atmosphere, the Highlanders do bring it. This school year we saw that atmosphere when the men’s soccer team defeated nationally ranked UC Irvine.
Another reason college sports are better than professional sports is pride. Athletes in college are not playing for the money—unlike their professional counterparts. They are playing for their school, classmates and community. Additionally, fan pride gives home games an atmosphere charged with energy.
My biggest reason for loving college sports is that there is always a David versus Goliath moment. In college sports we always hear about a college team that was widely unknown pulling off unimaginable feats. The team that comes to my mind is the Butler Bulldogs in the 2010 NCAA men’s division I basketball tournament. Although Butler did not beat powerhouse Duke in the final game, sports fans not just at Butler but across the whole nation watched the underdog story unfold and rooted for the little guy. The little guy is what makes sports great, and in college you just see it more often with quite a dramatic flair.