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Football season is over

MICHAEL GEBELEIN
Sports Writer

Football season is over, at least for me. I woke up early on Tuesday morning feeling hollow and empty, like I had forgotten something important. I know, there are still NFL games left in the season, but the drama is finished.
According to the sports bookies in Las Vegas, in every playoff game this weekend, the team with the better record is favored.
Not that the prognosis is all that surprising. Upsets do happen occasionally, but it’s not likely this weekend. I don’t think anyone thought the Broncos had a chance against the Steelers, and that may be the last shocker we get to see.
I had a few people tell me that they thought Alabama was going to put one over on LSU, and even though I didn’t believe them, it wasn’t that far out of the realm of reality that the Tide could get a win, and they did.
Unfortunately, the NFL is an entirely different beast than the college game and the teams that are on top are there for a reason.
Believe me, I hope the Broncos get a win over the Patriots, and at least one of my reasons is one that most people can agree with.
There’s something distasteful about convicted cheater Bill Belichick and pretty-boy quarterback Tom Brady winning any games. Also, if the Broncos can somehow pull off another miracle, Baltimore will savagely devour Denver in the next round.
The college games are full of spectacles that are lacking at the professional level. Maybe the problem is that, in reality, with the pros we have to watch grown men playing a game, and being paid exorbitant sums of money for doing something most of us did in scrubby fields when we were kids.
Obviously, the skill level a professional has is incomparable, but the idea of “love of the game” and “doing it for the fans” is utter nonsense. Anyone who says different is a liar.
It might start with those misty-eyed principles for some professional athletes, but when it comes down to it, no one in his right mind would sacrifice his body in the way professional football players do just for glory and adoration.
Last time I checked, neither of those things could be deposited into a checking account.
College athletics have their own set of problems, but if a school’s biggest offense is allowing a simpleton on campus with a scholarship because he can run fast and jump high, then so be it.
It’s all entertainment, and despite what television networks try to convince the public of, college football is just more entertaining than the NFL.
There’s a sense that the little guy has a chance, even if it’s a long shot. That added iota of suspense is what helps make the game great.
But, now that football is finished, all I can do is grind my teeth and wait for baseball.
Michael Gebelein is a sports writer with the Lincoln Times-News.

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