Lance McAlister

Lance McAlister

Lance McAlister covers everything in Cincinnati sports! Host of sports talk on Cincinnati News Radio 700WLW and ESPN 1530!Full Bio


I'll take CFB over NFL and HS

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I'll take college football over the NFL and high school

We are bombarded with football on all levels around this area.

Friday nights are jammed with high school football, from Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.

Each Saturday it's UC, Kentucky, Ohio State, Miami, Ohio, Louisville, Indiana, Purdue, Notre Dame, Thomas More, Mt. St Joe and on and on.

Sunday it's the Bengals, with pockets of Browns, Steelers, Colts fans and more around the area.

I like to do this topic at the start of each football season: 

Which level of football do you like most? 

Let's take a look at my +/- of each:


I'll be honest, I like the NFL, but I've stopped loving the NFL. If not for the Bengals and gambling I probably would not watch much NFL. I've grown weary of the league and the product. The last few years it seems the NFL has been anthem protests, Colin Kaepernick, Deflate Gate, concussions and CTE, NFL rules changes/interpretations. I can't stomach Roger Goodell. His arrogance symbolizes the league. 

I continue to sense a fan emotional detachment from the sport. I canceled Sunday Ticket/Red Zone last year. Why? I don't find the product all that compelling. Preseason games are a waste of time and money. Thursday night games are money grabs. I do like the competitive nature of the league. 

As for the style of play, the league is too cookie-cutter, robotic. 

NFL officiating and the application of rules makes my eyes glaze over. 

The league has become a 365 product. Sorry, I can't take the NFL every single day of the year.


I find myself becoming more and more of a college football fan. 

I like the smorgasbord of offenses, from the spread to the triple option, the Pistol to the Power I and the wishbone to the pro-style. 

I like the pageantry of college football. I like marching bands, cheerleaders, dance teams and student sections. I love dotting the I, touching the rock, slapping the 'Play Like a Champion' sign, jumping around at Camp Randall, sticking a flaming spear in the ground in Tallahassee. How great is Sooner Schooner and Ralphie the Buffalo?

I like walking the campus on game day in South Bend and tailgating in Columbus. I like battles for an Old Oaken Bucket, Paul Bunyan's Axe and the Victory Bell. Give me The Grove, take me Between the Hedges, let me glance at Touchdown Jesus and walk out of a tunnel to the Rose Bowl.

I like the fact that a game in week one feels like a playoff game. I still want an eight team playoff field. I don't like scheduling mismatches and cupcakes. I don't have the time or interest to follow a gazillion meaningless bowls that include teams with losing records.

I like the helmet and uniform combinations. I like the Heisman Trophy watch. I think preseason polls are silly. I like the weekly committee reveal, but I don't like not seeing individual ballots. I find recruiting to be fascinating, but way too over the top. But I like the year-to-year turnover of rosters and growth and development of players.

Give me ESPN's College Gameday over any and all NFL pregame shows. I like Lee Coros putting on a mascot head and waving to the crowd.

I love the sense of conference pride. SEC fans circle the wagons to defend their teams. Ever hear a rally cry for the AFC North? I could listen to an endless loop of school fight songs....from Hail to the Victor 

High School

High School football is the TV show Friday Night Lights. I love the sense of community pride. I appreciate the connection felt with the team, from current students to graduates from decades ago. There is an innocence to it all, not as much as there once was, but a pureness that I still appreciate. Give me grandma and grandpa in the stands watching Billy. Give me The Pit and the CGL South! Save me a seat at the WLSN pregame tailgate show. I love Fox 19's Final Quarter and the highlights of 17 games. I've always felt I was shortchanged on the high school football experience. As much as I loved broadcasting games as a student on Carmel High School's radio station, I missed being in the stands and experiencing games. Same thing at Butler. I never got to sit in the stands, I was always in the broadcast booth.

What do you think? What's your choice and why? Join our conversation HERE.

Photo courtesy Getty Images

From 2017

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