NFL can't match college game

The NFL entertains America like no other sport, but it simply lacks the passion and tradition of college football.

Updated: November 16, 2004, 5:07 PM ET
By Beano Cook | ESPN Insider
There is little doubt that football has become America's pastime. While television ratings show that more people prefer the NFL, I am proud to say I'd rather watch a college game.

The NFL entertains America like no other sport, but the feeling here remains that college football is more entertaining, diverse and fun. This is not a knock on pro football, it's just praise for the college game, which used to be the country's second-most-popular sport behind baseball.

That was before the NFL brilliantly created parity and its "any given Sunday" concept, matched only by its terrific leadership and marketing. Remember, the first Super Bowl didn't even sell out.

Beano Cook

College Football
Carroll H. "Beano" Cook joined ESPN in March 1986 and served as a college football studio commentator and occasional sideline reporter, in addition to offering college football commentary on ESPN Radio. He died in October 2012.