College Football in New York City? Now We've Seen Everything

Yankee Bowl kicks off in 2010

By Josh Alper
|  Monday, Sep 14, 2009  |  Updated 5:30 PM EDT
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College Football in New York City? Now We've Seen Everything

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If you can make it in New York City, you can make it anywhere. That's what the song says, anyway, and it's true that getting the Big Apple's seal of approval can make life easier in just about any walk of life. That doesn't mean you can't make it other places without having any foothold in New York City, though.

College football proves that every fall, as millions of people around the country thrill to the exploits of the Trojans, Longhorns and Gators while the city busies itself with brunch, shopping and dozens of other activities. Yes, we know that Columbia and Fordham play football, but we're talking Division I here. We're a sports town, but, ever since St. John's became irrelevant in basketball, we're not a big time college sports town. The NCAA is hoping to change that next year, however.

The Big 12 and Big East conferences have reached an agreement to send two of their schools to the Bronx to do battle in the Yankee Bowl at, naturally, Yankee Stadium. It won't be a particularly high-powered affair, seventh place in the Big 12 against the third or fourth-best team in the Big East, but it's something. And, as it comes on the heels of news that Notre Dame and Army will play in Jeter's joint in the autumn of 2010, that makes for a veritable landslide of collegiate action coming our way.

Now, New York isn't totally without ties to the upper echelons of the college game. Army and Notre Dame used to regularly play at the Stadium, but not since 1969 which means many locals may need a refresher course on how college action differs from the games played by the Jets and Giants. Here's a few helpful tips: 

  • No matter how often college coaches leave jobs with schools they proclaim to love for other schools they proclaim to love who will pay them more, college football is all about teaching and shaping young men. It is absolutely not a cut-throat business based on wins and losses led by men who would sell their own wives and children for a shot at recruiting a quarterback.  
  • There's no two minute warning in college football. It's a byproduct of the youthfulness of the players, who are living in the moment and not as concerned with the coming end of their time on Earth as their professional brethren. 
  • This one applies only to the Notre Dame game, but don't believe anyone who refers to the Fighting Irish as a college football power. That's the same as believing someone who tells you that your plane leaves from Idlewild Airport or that Studio 54 is the swingest spot in town. Anyone who says any of those things needs to update their guidebook for the 21st century.   
  • The guys and gals marching around in ridiculous looking costumes playing "Louie, Louie" aren't in a prison work-release program, they're doing it by choice.

Help out your fellow New Yorkers and leave some more helpful hints in the comments. Together, we'll make this a college football town or sigh trying.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com.

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