They put their lives on the line to protect our freedom, our way of life, the opportunity to play football. Thats a completely different situation.
Ball players are just over paid, over idolized, buffoons.
I have yet to figure out what ball players do to protect or enhance society that would justify lionising them to the extent that they are.
I don't consider them heroes - just overpaid mastodons. Howcumzit they could make more in a single season than I will for the rest of my life - and more in a single game than I did in my entire term of service (not to mention the basic flawed premise that four fifteen-minute quarters somehow adds up to three and a half hours. Four times fifteen is sixty - sixty minutes is one hour.
As far as "King of Semantics?" Thank you. Semantics is "the meaning of meaning" - and I've been studying it (informally) for 25-30 years. Precision in making things is just as important to me as precision of expression.
What would I watch on sports channels? I've been known to tune into the Ranger Challenge, maybe World's Strongest Man, or Highland Games - but that's about it. Warrior skills and feats of strength are far more interesting and relevant to me than playing silly games.
Frankly, I don't really care how smart football players are (or aren't) - I just don't give a damn about football. Professional or college.
The only games I might actually pay attention to at any particular times would be hockey - and only if one of my boys (or my grandson) is playing. If I don't personally know someone involved, I don't see why I should care.
And, I neither see why someone should be paid an inordinate amount of money to play a game, nor why they should be idolised for it.
Then again, perhaps I'm just cranky.