SPORTS

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October 24, 2008

If the U of C were the NFL

I wish I were a professional athlete, rather than a college student who writes about professional athletes.

The headlines on ESPN remind me of this fact constantly. Last week, it was almost like now-Cowboys receiver Roy Williams was laughing at me through the computer.

Here’s a guy who doesn’t like his teammates in Detroit. He doesn’t like his organization. And he feels that none of his team’s struggles are his fault.

So he gets traded, and now he’s making $45 million over the next five years.

I will be shocked if I am somehow able to make a 10th of that during my lifetime. If only it were that easy; if only the U of C would just give me millions of dollars to come to school. I dislike several of my classmates, so shouldn’t I get a multi-million dollar contract, too? And that got me thinking: The University of Chicago should be more like the NFL.

If the U of C were more like the NFL, a Northwestern student who isn’t happy with his academic experience could be traded to Chicago in exchange for a Class of 2013 selection and cash considerations.

If the U of C were more like the NFL, students would hold press conferences after important exams.

“You know, it was a pretty tough test at first, so, uh, when I asked to go to the bathroom with 20 minutes left, I knew I had to, you know, regroup,” a student might tell a crowd of reporters after an econ test. “I just had to, you know, make some adjustments and leave it all out there in my answer packet. That’s just what you gotta do.”

If the U of C were more like the NFL, people with especially good GPAs would have their UCIDs retired two years after they graduate. Double-majors would have to make the tough decision of whether they wanted their ID hung up in Eckhart or the BSLC.

If the U of C were more like the NFL, the University would tell their students to sit out a class or two for partying too much on the weekend.

“Chicago announced this morning that Chris will be unavailable for Wednesday’s lector session as a result of his attendance at Friday night’s Alpha Delt party.”

If the U of C were more like the NFL, confusing and convoluted answers would result in severe injuries, because every professor would have a huge enforcer like Sean Merriman just standing in the corner waiting for you to make a mistake. Try him—women will be crying in the front row.

(If the U of C were more like the NFL, all classrooms would have front rows for women to cry in.)

If the U of C were more like the NFL, professors might make mistakes at the very end of a test, and you’d be able to steal an A. The next day’s front-page photo would be a close-up of the professor, dejected and looking off into the distance, with the students celebrating in the background.

If the U of C were more like the NFL, students would get books written about them for going to 258 consecutive classes. Then teachers would be angry with them for overstaying their welcome in class, and eventually they’d get traded to Brown University, where their UCID would be retired.

If the U of C were more like the NFL, millions of people across the country would play fantasy school. People would draft students based on their majors (each team would need three econ majors, two bio majors, two math majors, and a poli sci major, etc.), and teams would score points based on GPA. People could drop students who don’t live up to their preseason rankings.

(Actually, for me, the term “fantasy school” is basically just a college where you don’t have to do any homework or go to class or write newspaper articles on deadline.)

If the U of C were more like the NFL, footage of incredible answers would be posted on YouTube, and Lab School students would watch them in awe.

“Deeee-amn, are you watching this proof?”

If the U of C were more like the NFL, final exam collapses would also be on YouTube. Well, the Jake Grubman Calculus Crumble of 2007 would be up there, anyway.

Then again, though, the NFL isn’t so great. There are tons of smart people here, right? So maybe the NFL should be more like the U of C.

If the NFL were more like the U of C, players would design and create the league’s video games.

If the NFL were more like the U of C, everyone on the team would be a “good character guy,” but only because everyone would be too shy to do the things that make “Pacman” Jones a “not good character guy.”

If the NFL were more like the U of C, touchdown dances would be horrifying instead of entertaining.

If the NFL were more like the U of C, defense really would win championships because so few players would be able to catch the ball on offense. Or know how to play football. Or know how to play any sports. Or understand sports enough to know what the hell this column is even about.