Saturday, January 21, 2012

There’s a lot to be thankful for in college football

image As a conservative, I am both genetically and ideologically predisposed to optimism. In fact, this is what truly separates conservatives from liberals. Conservatives always see the glass as half full and liberals always see the glass as half empty. How we assess the state of the greatest sport ever invented is no different.

When a liberal looks over the landscape of college football, he inevitably sees a sport rife with corruption, greed, scandal and exploitation. Of course there are success stories but look at al the problems! He can’t help it—it’s in his nature. Allow any ideological leftist to assess any situation and all he sees is a system in desperate need of fixing.

When a conservative looks over that same landscape, he sees a sport thriving and growing in popularity with each passing season. Of course there are a few bad seeds out there but look at all the great stories just waiting to be told. Allow any ideological right-winger to assess any situation and all he sees are opportunities to succeed.

So with that, let me express how grateful I am for the enjoyment of being a college football fan. I’m thankful for the hundreds of schools, thousands of coaches and tens of thousands of football student-athletes who do things right every year. I’m pleased by the fact that most of those student-athletes are receiving an education that they probably wouldn’t have had the opportunity to pursue if it wasn’t for football.

I’m also grateful for the hundreds upon hundreds of teacher-coaches who welcome 17- and 18-year old divas and mold them into young men. There’s no more important time in a young man’s life than his coming of age period. Who he becomes later in life is determined by the instruction and mentoring he receives during this critical period. It is a blessing to have coaches who understand this responsibility and help educate these young men and teach them the skills needed to make the right choices later in life.

I’m also grateful for the millions of fans who support their teams with class and represent their favorite program with distinction and good taste. Believe it or not, those fans vastly outnumber the reprobates that damage property or assault opposing fans. That’s not what being a college football fan is all about. In 99% of college football venues across the country, the sportsmanship and rule-abiding seen on the field extends to the fans in the stadium seats, tailgating spots and post-game celebrations. Those don’t get headlines because they don’t drive subscriptions or mouse clicks.

I can promise you that over the next two weeks, this entry will be one of the least read posts on IBCR. There’s no dirty laundry here. No scandal involving NCAA rules violations, coaches’ misbehavior or players being arrested means a lot of folks aren’t interested. It’s just a rant by a fan and a blogger who, by nature of his conservatism, sees the college football landscape doing about as well as it ever could in today’s society.

There is always more good to be found than bad, folks. There are lots more opportunities to succeed than there are problems to be solved, and I’m honestly grateful for that.

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