>Thursday Lunch: Alternatives to the Lockout

Posted: February 10, 2011 in college football, english premier league, mls, nba, nfl, soccer
Tags: , , ,

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By Dylan Davis

If you’re one of the 111 Million Americans that watched the most disappointing performance by a Steeler (or in this case a whole group of them) since Terry Bradshaw in Failure to Launch, you were also witness to the best and worst that the NFL has to offer. You saw an entertaining game between two of the best young quarterbacks in the league who are surrounded with stars on both sides of the ball. You also saw the most stupendously overindulgent stadium of all-time play host to a game that has traditionally been more about the spectacle than the game. However, you also saw the flip side of the NFL coin. Christina Aguilara decided the original Star Spangled Banner wasn’t unique enough for her vocal capacities, so she changed a few of the lyrics; you saw the Black Eyed Peas turn in a halftime show that seemed to be Tron meets Spice Girls (see above); and a few hundred fans weren’t able to use their seats because of a fire code violation, but they probably saw more of the game than these people. Lastly, as soon as the confetti was cleared from the Cowboy Stadium field, all the talk turned towards the impending lockout.

It seems that there will definitely be an NFL lockout, but let the experts debate whether or not football will be played next season. I’m here for a different reason. Since you’re reading this blog, I have to assume that you are a sports fan. If the most popular league in American history is closed down next season, you can always turn to exhilarating television programming such as Jersey Shore, Cake Wars, or the unintentionally hilarious Intervention. While those shows will hold your attention (if for no other reason than you wondering how the hell they’re still on air), you will probably turn to other sports for your competitive fix. While flipping to ESPN or Comcast Sports Net can yield interesting results in the sporting realm, allow me to help you through the mishmash of events that can be enjoyed instead of the National Football League next winter.

 

College Football

ncaa-football-logo

Pros: It’s football, duh. There is more passion in the stands and on the sidelines than in their professional counterpart. If you want to see players competing for money, there’s always plenty of that. If the NFL postseason system were run in the same manner as college, the Super Bowl would have been between the Patriots and the Falcons, which would have been much more exciting than the 6th seed playing the 2nd seed.

 

Cons: The quality of play is lower in college football (unless you root for the Bills, Broncos, or Panthers). The BCS is as logical as Shannon Sharpe is understandable. Postseason games involving teams with losing records… oh wait. The BCS is the sports equivalent of communism; the idea isn’t as bad as everyone makes it out to be, but the execution usually leaves thousands of people outraged. The NFL draft is somehow less of a crapshoot than college football signing day. The BCS sucks.

 

Pro Basketball

Pros: The All-Star game (unlike the Pro Bowl) doesn’t suck, unless Chris Andersen is involved. Dorky white guys don’t lose their teams winnable playoff games in the NBA; the same can’t be said for the NFL. 82>16. There is a continuous flow in basketball games, unlike in football where the players train year round to play only 6 seconds out of every 40. Players play offense and defense (unless it’s Amar’e Stoudemire or the entire Kings roster), none of this specialization nonsense.

 

Cons: There are many actual cons playing in the Association. NFL players wear helmets, so you would never be fully exposed to Popeye Jones or Sam Cassell. A Player going 1-on-5 half the season gets old after the 50th time Tyreke throws up an off-balance runner the misses completely. At least the Panthers failed as a team this year. There seems to be even more alleged rape.

 

Socceralg_donovan-celebrates

Pros: The play is still 11 vs. 11. As with the NBA, the fluidity of the game exceeds American football, unless the Italians are playing. The talent pool is comprised of the entire world, instead of mostly American born white or black males between the ages of 21 and 35. Being average sized (as opposed to this) is an advantage in soccer as the world’s best player is barely taller than Snooki. The World Cup is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

 

Cons: For once, America isn’t the best, although that may be a plus to some. The Italians are allowed to participate. it’s a lot easier to play fantasy football than it is to play fantasy soccer: trust me. While there’s more talent overall, there’s also more than 32 teams. A lot more. Five points in a game counts as exciting.

 

While there is a possibility of seeing NFL teams suit up next season, looking into sporting alternatives is not a bad way to expand your horizons. I hope this list has clarified what should be enjoyed this upcoming year and if you’re not too off put by multiple Jersey Shore references; I’ll see you next week. Have a great weekend.

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