Professional vs. collegiate sports




Story by Ellis Williams and Nick Erickson

College Sports

There aren’t any contract negotiations, player buyouts or sitouts. There are no threats of relocation or strikes because of a collective bargaining disagreement.

Professional sports are driven by the dollar, where your favorite player might end up on a different team someday because of a nicer contract, thus crushing the loyalty aspect.

While the NCAA has undoubtedly gotten power hungry, the core of college athletics isn’t about the money. It’s a way of life.

If you’re a diehard college sports fan, you might follow a top high school player from your state when the young man or woman is at an early age. If he or she picks your university, you feel an instant connection with that person. Chances are, they will remain loyal to your university, and the constant fear of contract extensions or trade clauses aren’t in the back of your mind.

Right now, the Wisconsin men’s basketball team has seven in-state players on its roster.

College athletics also brings out state pride unlike anything else.

And there’s something about a college band that just blows the acoustics out of venues, making the gameday atmosphere a lot more exciting than professional sports.

College athletics represent pride, while money often overshadows that in professional sports. I truly would rather go watch Wisconsin play Bowling Green on a Saturday afternoon from Camp Randall than a Packer game at Lambeau Field on a Sunday.  If you think I’m crazy, watch this. Go college!

— Nick Erickson, Staff Writer

Pro Sports

I once walked into a five-star steakhouse expecting to consume a top-end cut of sirloin. The dining room lighting was dim and white cloths covered each table.

When I sat down, there were two glasses in front of me, one for wine, the other for water. I opened my linen napkin and a knife and two forks fell out. I had no idea what either was for besides stabbing my steak.

This is when I knew I was an appetizer away from consuming the finest cut of meat in the city.

My point is, I like my steaks like I like my sports – top end.

When I sit down to watch a sporting event, I prefer to view the best of the best.

Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Aaron Rodgers and Rob Gronkowski.  These four athletes are stars of their sports and were not household names before they hit the big time.

Back to the steakhouse, when the waiter came to my table and asked what I was ordering, I didn’t ask her what their twelfth best steak was. No, I asked for the top steak because I was at the best steakhouse around.

The same holds true for sports entertainment.  If you can choose between watching the twelfth best basketball game on television, or the top game on that night which will include some of the top athletes in the world, which one are you watching?

Take the homer who blindly roots for their favorite college sports team out of the equation and most of collegiate athletics is just a bunch of 18-to-21 year olds playing a sport they are under compensated for.

On top of that, 98 percent of these student-athletes will be working in a cubicle a year after you watch them on television. Why is that? Because they are not the best athletes in the world. That title belongs to the professionals.

So the next time you have the choice between a Hungry-Man steak dinner on your couch or the filet mignon at a five-star restaurant, just think, professional sports or collegiate athletics, which one is the better cut of meat?

— Ellis Williams, Sports Editor