“Game’s gone.” It’s a thing that soccer fans say anytime their sport lurches even more toward the service of money (not an infrequent occurrence) or, alternately, in reaction to the way some of the sport’s physicality has been tamped down more than old-schoolers would prefer.
While fans of both American and European football don’t tend to enjoy having their respective sports compared to each other, it’s a bit surprising that this saying hasn’t caught on among college football fans. For the past 30 years, these respective sports have seen their trajectories follow each other closely, both in terms of making their games safer for the athletes who play them (to the grumbling of said old-schoolers) and, more importantly, in the way that the money involved in each sport has exploded.
The European Super League both came to fruition and failed a year ago this week. The experiment was a failure in execution, but it was also a warning. Soccer has seen increased concentration of money at the top of the pyramid through the years, but the attempt to form the Super League represented a different level of possible consolidation entirely. It failed after massive fan backlash, but the way it came about, and the idea it represented, could easily take root in college football — if it hasn’t already.