Retirement Planning Strategies - September 2019

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Tradition & Competition WHY I LOVE COLLEGE FOOTBALL

I can’t recall a time when I wasn’t a football fan. Growing up in Southwest Iowa, we didn’t have endless entertainment options, and, before the internet, we didn’t have a way to transcend our physical location and construct our own realities. We had to make do with what was around. And one of those things, thankfully, was eight-man football. For as long as I can remember, my father took me to games, and I absolutely loved it. Long before I knew what a zone defense was, I knew I was a football fan. It’s a passion that continues to this day, particularly in the form of my love for college football. In fact, I enjoy it so much that I get excited when I can feel the summer air cooling and autumn on the horizon. While most people view this part of the year as a move away from summer, I see it as a progression toward college football season. You may be wondering why I prefer college to the pros. I think it comes down to that word “professional.” The NFL, by virtue of its size and power as a business, benefits from keeping things as uniform as

possible. The experience at each stadium is pretty similar, whether you’re in Glendale or Green Bay. The NFL is a well-oiled machine to its credit and profit, but it lacks the personality, charm, and tradition of the college game. Don’t get me wrong, NCAA football is big business, but it still retains some of the upstart pluck of old-school amateur sports. Case in point is my team, the University of Colorado Buffaloes. We haven’t been competitive on the national stage in many years, but that doesn’t stop students and fans alike from pouring into Folsom Field on Saturdays. It certainly doesn’t hurt that the stadium is gorgeous, with views of the Rockies to take your breath away. We’re lucky enough to have season tickets, and we normally catch at least six or so games per year. It doesn’t matter if the Buffs are undefeated or winless, you’ll see us in the stands. Last year, we had the privilege to travel to some friends’ in Baton Rouge and attend the Alabama-LSU game. If you think UC football is a big deal, let me tell you that it’s

got nothing on the SEC. The atmosphere at that stadium was nothing short of electric. It’s the type of place where people begin tailgating for a night game before the sun even comes up. You can tell that everybody with a pulse in the surrounding area is tuned into the game. Even if they weren’t, they could figure out what’s going on simply by judging the screams in the stadium. We’ve decided to get another SEC experience this year, heading back to our friends’ for the Florida-LSU game. I can only imagine what the energy will be like if the Tigers can get a win. There’s so much I love about football. From the tactical chess match of the defense adapting to the offense to the intense competitiveness the players bring to the field, it’s a sport unlike any other. I may not be able to say when my passion for football began, but I can safely assert that it remains in place to this day. Let the games begin, and, of course, GO BUFFS!

–Ann Vanderslice | 1

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