Mike in a Minute: Go to School for the Sports

Courtesy ESPN/Twitter

Sports never graduate.

Welcome to Mike in a Minute: I give my take on something that happens in the news. Original! The catch is, it won’t take you longer than a minute to read. I keep the maximum word count (not including this explainer) at 300 – the number an average adult reads per minute, according to Forbes according to Staples. Today’s topic: maybe college sports are more important than we think.

Lots of people attend incredible colleges without great sports programs. You’re paying potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars for an education, not the chance to yell at 19-year-olds for missing free throws, after all.

As this article puts it:

You can be a fan anywhere, but you can’t learn everywhere.

Logically: sure. Look at the Ivy League. Yale grads do just fine knowing their basketball team probably won’t meet North Carolina in a Final Four.

But, this weekend, I was reminded that – emotionally – I can’t agree.

I had to be in Liverpool, N.Y., a town adjacent to Syracuse, for a work event Saturday. I drove up Friday night, retracing the same Interstates I’d traveled myriad times during my undergrad years at SU a decade ago.

Original plan: head straight to my hotel for an early night’s sleep, then visit campus before or after my gig Saturday.

Gamechanger: our football team went ahead and upset the reigning national champion and No. 2 team in the country, Clemson, as I arrived in town.

Updated plan: I had to stop by campus and grab a drink on Marshall St. to celebrate with my Orange faithful. The only thing I had in common with everyone? Our affinity for Otto and the 13210 zip code. That’s the only thing I needed.

And so my take: while it shouldn’t be the factor in determining where you go to college, a school having a great football or basketball program should most certainly be a factor. More than 10 years after graduating, I (like Penn State, Duke, Texas, et al. fans) still have an intrinsic bond to community that takes nothing more than a t-shirt or beer at a game watch to ignite.

Sports: the best way to ensure your 4 years at school last a lifetime.

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