My diatribe for today is about the current state of college sports in this country with an emphasis on college football. As background information I grew up in an era without computers, cell phones, indoor plumbing, mega-box stores and television stations that remained on-the-air 24/7. Cable TV did not exist, but I did have a transistor radio. Local AM stations only. My grandchildren play games on their high tech electronics at every opportunity. As a kid, I played games outdoors with bats, balls and gloves. Sometimes with neighborhood kids, but just as often, by myself. I threw a rubber ball against the shed in our backyard, and shot baskets for hours on end. I do remember going inside to eat occasionally.
I ceased caring about how much money pro athletes make years ago. They are paid ridiculous salaries, but more power to them. I am pleased to see college athletes now have ways to make money while still in school. I heard a rumor that some of them actually go to classes and get an education. I was watching a college football game last weekend, but I can’t remember which one. I watched 5 or 6 games Saturday. Anyway, the announcers mentioned one player who was playing in his eighth season. I remember the days when a player had three years of eligibility and transfers were extremely rare. Now players transfer on a yearly basis. Soon it might be monthly. How do the coaches keep track of who is on their team? I suppose they use computers.
One of the first college football games I remember watching on TV was the 1961 Rose Bowl between the Washington Huskies of the Athletic Association of Western Universities and the Minnesota Golden Gophers from the Big Ten. Washington won. In those days college conferences were based on geography to make it easier to travel. The Big Ten conference consisted of universities situated in the middle of the country. Ohio State was the easternmost school, and Iowa was the farthest west. The AAWU consisted mainly of schools on the west coast. It evolved over the years to become the Pac-12. Next year the Big Ten will have 18 members and stretch from coast to coast. The SEC keeps adding universities, and the Atlantic Coast Conference will have two members from California. The last time I looked California was by the Pacific Ocean and nowhere near the Atlantic. The Pac-12 will have two teams left after the wholesale desertion of the other universities. Other conferences are following suite, and I don’t have a clue where it will end. I blame it on the Wright brothers.
At least I can always watch Notre Dame football. Channel 5 usually telecasts the games. Sometimes channel 7. Let me check the schedule… Okay, they are playing Central Michigan this week. Should be a good game. I use ESPN to keep track of start times. Okay, the game starts at 1:30 and it’s on channel… Wait a minute! It’s not on NBC or even ABC. It’s on some channel called Peacock, and it’s some kind of streaming thing. I’ve got a twenty-year-old TV, and I don’t think it does streaming. I’ll have to ask Ben about it. He’s ten-years-old and knows everything about new technology.