Remember the bad-old days? Remember when we were kids and most people (like me) didn’t even have cable? Remember when we didn’t have ESPN (as annoying and over the top as it can be)? Remember when we didn’t have the web and the ability to get all-access real-time updates on what’s happening with our favorite teams and players?
I remember Saturdays growing up when you had a chance to maybe watch 2 or 3 college football games. There was a game that was somewhat local for your region, an SEC game on CBS, and Notre Dame on NBC. That’s it. Now I can watch games on Saturday from about 9 am to midnight. And that includes multiple games going at the same time. It’s one of the great things that sets College Football above the NFL in my opinion. The NFL still only allows you to watch 2 or 3 games on Sunday instead of pretty much all of them. But back to the College game…
It’s game week in College Football with only a few days to go until the season is in full-swing. So over the past few weeks I’ve just been noticing how much information is available for us to consume these days when it comes to our favorite teams.
For me it all starts with Bleacher Report. Especially the Bleacher Report app on my phone. It’s a real-time feed of tweets, articles, instagrams, and just about anything going on with my favorite program (Texas A&M). Thanks to Bleacher Report, I don’t need twitter, I don’t need to know who to follow on instagram, I don’t have to search the web for A&M related content. It’s all compiled right there in the feed waiting for me to check it out. It used to be that you’d have to wait for a Sunday morning paper to read an article from a beat-writer on the previous day’s game, and that was about all you got until the next weekend came around. Now I can get in-game thoughts from experts and writers and post-game analysis galore. I know if a guy is hurt pretty much instantly without having to wade through a post-game press conference to hear about it.
ESPN has been a driving force in giving us all the content we can handle when it comes to College Football. They’ve given us extra channels like ESPN-U and most notably, the SEC Network. Now I have analysts talking about my team or my team’s rivals at just about any given point in a day. I don’t even have to wait around for College Gameday to see if A&M will get a mention! And can we just talk about Gameday for moment? Whoever invented College Gameday should get a Nobel Prize. What other sport has a single program that unites all it’s fans in front of a TV every Saturday morning? It’s become an integral part of the College Football experience. A common topic of conversation among two College Football fans might be, “Hey, where’s Gameday this week?” The show gives us a glimpse into Programs around the country, features on player stories on and off the field, and college life itself. For me it’s what makes losing Saturday Morning Cartoons bearable.
Another great ESPN innovation has been the ESPN.com bloggers. They now have a Blog writer dedicated to every team. And every writer is publishing a new article just about every day. The Blogger is going to the press conferences, breaking down stats, writing features on players, and more. I remember a time in the not-so-distant past that just about the only beat writer for A&M was Robert Cessna from the Bryan/College Station Eagle. I would actually read his doom-and-gloom articles that were only published on theeagle.com, (a site that probably hasn’t had a facelift since 2003). Now I get to read articles by Bloggers and Beat Writers that actually like A&M and put the slightest A&M bias on their articles just to put a little wind in my sails unlike grumpy old Cessna that taught me to believe that being an Aggie meant to be miserable. Thank you ESPN for helping me to shed my Battered Aggie Syndrome.
So these days I have the ability to watch games on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN-U, SEC Network, Fox, Fox Sports, Fox Sports 1, CBS, CBS Sports, NBC, PAC12, Big 10 Network, ABC. I’m probably missing a few from that list! As you can see, we’ve come a long way from the bad-old days. Welcome to College Football’s good-old days, where you get to feast on Football from August to January and beyond.