The League

Peter Schaffer
NFL Agent

Peter Schaffer

Agent and professor of sports law

NFL Is King

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Football is the greatest spectator and team sport in the world today and has been for nearly a half of a century. It offers a rare combination of intensity, collisions, athleticism, speed, passing, and team work unrivaled by any of the other great sports.

Both the NFL and the NCAA have worked diligently to produce the great product that is witnessed by countless millions Thursday through Monday each week of the fall and early winter. The multitude of sold out stadiums and high television ratings are a testament to this fact. When it comes to trying to determine which version of football is a better product collegiate football or profession, the answer is simple, the National Football League hands down.

The collegiate game is exciting, with talented players and coaches, high levels of competition and passionate fan bases, but it can't compare to the NFL in terms of skill, incredible action and overall competition. College players are not as skilled or as mature as their professional counterparts. Most are between the ages of 18 and 21 and have still not developed physically or perfected their crafts. Furthermore players can only compete for four years before losing their eligibility, so the continuity we see in professional football is impossible to attain.

The NFL has 16 ultra competitive games between the best 32 teams in the world. When Vince Lombardi, in the 1960's, uttered the famous phrase "on any given Sunday, any team can win" he was correct then and even more correct today. This mere fact is one of the reasons the NFL is what it is. Every week the top teams always play each other all of them the top 32 teams in the world. There are no USC vs. Northern Arizona etc.

The best high school athletes for the past 40 years have gravitated away from Baseball, Track, basketball etc and towards football for a multitude of reasons netting the greatest athletes of our society playing the greatest sport.

Another critical reason the NFL is the best sport is the fact that with the draft and free agency, the league is as competitive and equal as any league in existence. There are few if any teams that can't tell their fan base prior to the commencement of the season that they have no chance of making the playoffs or wining the ultimate prize in team sports, the Lombardi Trophy. In college football and all of the other major sports, it takes years to rebuild depleted and under performing teams. In college, it can take as few as 3 strong recruiting classes to even get to the .500 win mark.

Likewise in baseball and basketball, teams that are poor at the beginning of the season will be such at the end of the season In the NFL, as evidenced recently by such teams as the Saints, Giants, Packers etc. teams can go from the outhouse to the penthouse over the course of one off-season. This is based on the draft and free agency. In the NFL, players drafted at age 21 enter the league running and playing. These player don't toil in the minors for years or languish on team benches, they can have an immediate impact in the success of failure of their club (see Adrian Peterson of the Vikings, Joe Thomas of the Browns, Marques Colston of the Saints are some recent examples and on and on). Further, with the 4 years of un-restricted free agency rules, teams can supplement their rosters with star players in their prime and change their fortunes immediately. This creates a league where parity and competitiveness are paramount.

The year-round coverage is another major factor in making the NFL what it is. The season starts with training camp, goes through the season and then the playoffs and right into the draft and then the off-season programs. And it does an outstanding job of keeping fans informed and aware of every movement of the teams.

And the atmosphere is as exciting as at major colleges. One need only make the sojourn to Arrowhead stadium, Soldieries Field, the Back Hole in Oakland etc. to witness the passion of the fans for their clubs.

While the excitement of an Oklahoma-Texas, USC - UCLA, Florida- Florida State or even a Franklin and Marshall - Dickinson division III game is thrilling and enjoyable the overall atmosphere, skill, talent, competitiveness, parity and raw emotion of an NFL game is second to none; making the NFL the greatest spectator sport in the world.

By Peter Schaffer  |  October 17, 2008; 10:19 AM ET  | Category:  NFL Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Comments

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Peter,

Great article and a pleasure to read. Look forward to reading more about the NFL and how it works on the inside.

Matt

Posted by: Matt Schaller | October 19, 2008 11:07 AM

Peter - I finally accessed your fine article. Having grown up watching the Redskins beginning in 1937 and lately the Broncos I can vouch for the quality of the 32 teams in the NFL. Any of them would probably beat the best college team 73 to 0. If that score sounds familiar that was the score the Rears beat the Redskins in 1940 for the World Chanpionship - and I was there!!

Posted by: Lynn Watwood | October 20, 2008 1:08 PM

I would bet on the BCS winner to beat the NFL Super Bowl Champ anyday!!!!!!!

Posted by: Ray | October 21, 2008 12:02 PM

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