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College football is better, but the NFL’s new rule makes it cooler

Everyone knows that college football is better than professional football.

Okay. That may not be true, but I am prepared to die on that hill.

Many of the college players are just kids who love the game of football. You don’t have to watch grown men cry and refuse to practice because they don’t believe their multi-million-dollar contracts are good enough for them. College football players are there because they want to be, not because they are being paid.

The biggest aspect that differs between the two is the pageantry of college football.

You have Uga, the mascot for the UGA Bulldogs who is an actual bulldog; Bevo, the mascot for the Texas Longhorns who is an actual Texas longhorn steer; the Oregon Duck, the mascot for the University of Oregon Ducks who puts on a duck suit (based off of Disney’s Donald Duck through a special licensing agreement) and fistfights other schools’ mascots.

The list of interesting, eye-catching mascots goes on and on when it comes to college football.

You can’t say the same for the NFL.

But, the NFL will likely approve a rule change that will come into play this year. The rule will make the league a little bit cooler—not as cool as college football, but they will be taking a step in the right direction.

Under the new rule, running backs, wide receivers, tight ends, linebackers and defensive backs will be able to wear single-digit numbers.

RBs, WRs and TEs will be able to wear any number from 1-49 and 80-89.

LBs will be able to wear any number from 1-59 and 90-99.

DBs will be able to wear any number from 1-49.

This, of course, is a small change, but I think it will make the NFL more fun to watch when there aren’t any college games on TV.

It always bothered me that my favorite college players were going to have to change numbers when they went pro. It was already sad enough that they were going to be leaving the college that I enjoyed watching them play at, but they would also be wearing new uniforms and donning new numbers on top of that.

That is too much change for a guy who hates change.

Watching Marcus Mariota keep the number 8 when he was drafted by the Tennessee Titans was a relief for me, but it’s rare that my favorite players are able to keep their college numbers.

Now it won’t be, and I am happy about that.

And I get it. There are much more pressing matters taking place in our world right now.

Numbers on the jerseys of grown men who get paid millions of dollars to either get a ball across a line or prevent the ball from getting across that line are not that important.

However, if professional football is supposed to provide a form of comfort and entertainment for its fans, then I am happy to give the NFL the praise that is due when its leaders make decisions that make the experience better for the players and fans alike.

No matter how minuscule that decision is.

Written by Zach Edmondson, sports editor. Graphic courtesy of Gracie Lucas, digital content editor.

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