This year, up in Boulder at the University of Colorado, there’s a new head coach. “Coach Prime.” Ugh, gag. It’s “Neon” Deion “Primetime” Sanders, still riding on his college and NFL reputation and nicknames. Okay, so he’s good. Maybe great. But please, does he ever grow up? He still struts around like a movie star, now sporting trademark sunglasses and cowboy hat. He’s galvanized the team, the school, the city, maybe the whole state. “60 Minutes” has done two segments on him in the last year. But non-fans wouldn’t know his surname isn’t Prime because that’s all you hear or read. “Coach Prime.”
And maybe worst of all, he brought not one, not two, but three sons with him! One is the quarterback, one plays safety, and one wields a camera on the sidelines. It all seems so nepotistic, so incestuous. Yuck. The team has delivered three wins so far, all the home games are sold out for the first time in history, millions in merch have been sold. Am I impressed? Awed or aghast, I’m not sure which. I attended UC Boulder my freshman year, so I’m an alum. I can appreciate the excitement. But do I share it now? No.
This Sanders thing was my first realization that there’s now something in college sports called the Transfer Portal during which college players can transfer willy nilly all over the country and play immediately for their new teams. At CU, some 86 players are new this year, 53 of them transfers. Note I said “players,” not “students.” We’ve long known college sports are big business, with academics a mere annoyance. Now it’s officially sanctioned. Sort of a junior NFL draft. Sad. I wonder what became of those 50 CU players already on the team who were necessarily pushed out to make room for “Coach Prime’s” new team. The boosters, fans, school, media, etc., are over the moon about all this. I’m just sad and a bit disgusted.
A cousin once said to me, “It’s not bragging if it’s true” (after he’d bragged about how smart he is). Well, so far this year, with Coach Sanders, it’s been true. The Buffs have won their first three games (although it took two OTs last week). But all the attention-grabbing braggadocio, the Hollywood stuff, is certainly wearing thin. For me, anyway.
5 pm Saturday: Well, maybe now everyone will come back down to earth. Colorado got stomped by Oregon this afternoon, 42-6.