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Wednesday, January 26, 2000
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 81

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In pro football, a love of the game or money?

Brandon H. Franks

The other day I heard a guy on the radio talk about how it seemed that football just wasn't the same anymore. Can I get an "amen" on that?

With the Superbowl this Sunday, only one of my friends seems excited about the Titans going.

Since I was a kid, I remember watching the Superbowl and hanging out with friends. Now it seems like the only thing worth watching will be the commercials.

All the heroes we grew up with as kids are gone and football has been left to free agents.

I kind of get the feeling that the free agents don't care about the game anymore.

All they're worried about is who can give them the most money, no matter how many years they've been with a team. It almost sounds like a former owner we all once knew.

Fame has gone to their heads -- and when I say fame, I mean all of the bright lights and the cheering crowds. Unfortunately, they don't realize that the crowd for the team, not them.

I bet not even half of you reading this could name every football player in the NFL and what team they play for.

We know names like Emmitt Smith and Troy Aikman because they've played with one team for most of their career.

It needs to go back to the old days when we had heroes we felt close to, like O.J. Simpson. So what if he was tried for murder? Back in his prime he was incredible to watch and those who saw the Avis commercials he'd do would be left with a smile on their face.

In the mid-'80s, how many people that had HBO watched the HBO original series First and Ten just because O.J. was in it?

Would you really watch a show with someone you and your T.V. or local sports bar hadn't gotten so close to, like Trent Dilfer who used to play for Tampa Bay?

Basically, football is now more for the love of money than it is for the love of the game. 

Why else would we pay so much for a new football stadium knowing full well the prices are going to be out of this world?

Oh yeah, by the way, if you think you're going to get a ticket for the 2005 Superbowl if it happens here, think again.

There is probably a waiting list with people from the last two decades still on it, but I digress.

We have to get back to professional football being done professionally and not like a giant swap meet.

Here at UH I believe we have enough school spirit to run with the best of them. The only reason we feel close to the teams here is because we know the players, we sit in class with them and some of us may even be their best friends.

You don't see the players turn down an autograph because they won't get $500 for it. They are real down-to-earth people that are doing it for the love of the game. 

But how long can it last? If things don't change quick they will turn out just like most of the professionals out on the field now. 

I'm not saying that these guys don't work, because they do and I'm not saying that they aren't good at what they do, because they are.

It just seems to me that we shouldn't pay such ridiculous sums for people who are not even going to remain in town for a year.

Franks, a junior communications major, 
can be reached at bhfranks@hotmail.com.

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