Opinion Corner: Playing for secondThere are many reasons the NFL is the most popular pro sport. Reason No. 1 is right in front of our faces — the Vikings are 5-3. No matter how bad a team was the previous year, in the NFL quick turnarounds happen all the time there by giving hope to all 30 fan bases across the country.
By: Dave Selvig, Sun Sports, The Jamestown Sun
There are many reasons the NFL is the most popular pro sport.
Reason No. 1 is right in front of our faces — the Vikings are 5-3. No matter how bad a team was the previous year, in the NFL quick turnarounds happen all the time there by giving hope to all 30 fan bases across the country.
Had someone told me before the season that on Halloween the Vikings would be 5-3, I would have nominated Leslie Frazier for Coach of the Year on the spot. I’d probably have done the same if they were 3-5.
The economic system in the NFL is designed to create parity and they nailed it.
It’s not like this at most other levels of football, far from it. In fact, at several levels everyone else is essentially playing for second.
In major college football, Alabama is going to win the national title — again. I don’t care if Oregon scores 100 points a game from now until New Year’s, they aren’t beating Alabama.
Florida Gators? Forget it. They don’t have a quarterback.
Kansas State? No chance. Bill Snyder is one of the greatest football coaches in history, but the Wildcats might have three NFL players on their whole team. Alabama is nearly 3-deep with NFL caliber players at every position — it’s true. I’ve watched one Alabama game this season and it was the merciless beating they inflicted on Michigan back in early September. Michigan is one of the top 15 teams in the country, maybe the top 10, and that was like watching the varsity scrimmage the JV.
How about the FCS?
NDSU had a hiccup two weeks ago when its offense single-handedly ensured they would not go undefeated en route to a second straight national title. But that was a fluke. The Bison will not lose again. In fact, I don’t think they’ll play another competitive game. They’re just way better than any other team at that level. Before I get an email or call from an NDSU-hater, or UND grad, I have no dog in this hunt — I went to Moorhead State.
Maybe no better example of playing for second is in Triple A football this year.
Bismarck High School is an unbeaten 10-0 and simply unbeatable. The Demons have scored 426 points in nine games and allowed 40. That’s a point differential of plus-386. With the numbers they’ve put up, they’ve made the Community Bowl look like Tecmo Bowl.
Bismarck Century came within 28-7 on Sept. 14. For doing so, hopefully the Patriot players and coach Ron Wingenbach were awarded with a pizza party, because nobody will come that close again.
Clearly, it matters little who coaches the Demons, at least this year. Mark Gibson deserves credit for building a program, but this year’s team could be coached by Mel Gibson and still put the wood to everybody in the state.
So later this winter when teams like Alabama, NDSU and Bismarck are bringing home more hardware, whoever they beat in those championship games should feel pretty good. This year, being No. 2 is like being No. 1 of the mere mortals and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Sun sports editor Dave Selvig can be reached at (701) 952-8460 or by e-mail at email@example.com