Originally Posted by improbus
I had a friend from Australia marvel at our love for college sports. He wondered why anyone would spend that much time, energy, and money on an inferior product. You don't see 75,000 at a minor league baseball game or a Cyclones game. His viewpoint really made me wonder why we care so much about college sports, and then it dawned on me. We have a very personal connection. Your favorite sports team should almost always be your undergraduate alma mater (same goes for high school). Everyone in Ohio Stadium on a Saturday either went to OSU, has family that went to OSU, or friends that went to OSU. How many Reds fans have any affiliation with the team? The same question applies to Bengals fans. If you look at it that way, shouldn't all professional sports be overrated?
I agree with your friend from Australia. Div. I-A football and Div-I men's basketball puzzle me the most. Many of the players on MOST of these teams don't care a lick about the institutions, don't go to class, don't do anything for your institution besides suck up resources. Yet, somehow fans find them to be an extension of them.
I also don't get the "personal connection" thing, unless you actually went there. My parents met at Indiana U., and I find it bizarre that in some people's minds this could have made me into an I.U. fan by birthright.
Also, as much as pro sports get criticized for turnover and free agency, all college sports teams turnover at a much faster rate. I feel more of a personal connection to Barry Larkin than any of the athletes at I-U, even though I've never met Barry Larkin.