Being involved in a job where covering the beautiful game at all levels is written deep within the job description, the college game can sometimes fall into the cracks. However, we do watch as many of the games as we can with the increased availability of the college game and we love for our year to culminate in a trip to the College Cup. Getting to watch the four best Div. I college programs battle it out and see several of the next big MLS talents in one place makes the College Cup a fantastic experience. But, the NCAA decided to make a decision based on their bank account instead of with common sense when it came to the placement of the game last year.
Temperatures on Saturday never left the 30’s and the Championship game on Sunday saw the temperatures creep into the high 20’s, hardly the best situation for players and fans alike. Not to mention that they barely missed a huge winter storm that had blanketed the entire region the weekend before, as we saw during a horrible Lions vs Eagles (NFL) game where the cameras were unable to truly show us the action.
Considering that the college game is just starting to grow as the popularity of the MLS and EPL increase, this could have put a serious dent in the growth of the college game. Asking fans to suffer through freezing temperatures would not make me want to attend any other games…asking players to play the biggest games of the lives in freezing temperatures would not really make me think that I could provide the best of my talents…and asking any viewer at home to think that this was the best talent that the college game has to offer seems like a ridiculous ask by the NCAA.
However, the NCAA has decided to head a bit towards the south (Cary, NC) for this winter’s cup. Given the history of temperatures during early December in this area (mid 40’s/low 50’s), it provides a great backdrop for fans and players to enjoy this event. Leaving me to believe that the NCAA realized how big a mistake they had initially made and that they will learn from it…but, I then did some research. I actually discovered that the NCAA plans to return the College Cup back to PA in 2018! Have they not learned?! The women’s soccer championships are played in Florida almost every year! Sunny beaches and fantastic December temperatures would not work for the men’s game? Come on!
While we at the Center Circle are happy that this year’s College Cup will be bearable, it is amazing that the NCAA still sees the idea of playing in a northern state late in December as a good idea. If any of our readers have any extra common sense that they would like to ship over to the front office at the NCAA, it would certainly not go unused…they need all the help they can get.