College football is more than a game. It’s a culture. That’s the message being delivered in ESPN’s special “College Football: The American Game.”

ESPN’ night of storytelling programming included a look at the 150-year-old game unlike any other. This new special looked beyond the scores and the records, and showcased the fans, the jerseys, the music, pretty much everything but the game itself.

I’ll cut to the chase on this one. If you’re a fan of college football you’ll enjoy this special. If you’re not a fan, you probably just won’t get it. I don’t mean you have to be a diehard fan, but at least have an appreciation and general interest in the game and an openness to the culture. Otherwise, you’ll probably just be asking why people go so crazy over a game the entire time.

I am at least a casual fan of the game, so i enjoyed the historical look at the 150-year-old sport that kicked off this special. Seeing the footage from over 100 years ago and hearing about how the game was played was both interesting and entertaining.

Then the special shifted gears and jumped into the more modern game and started looking at the culture that has been built on those 100+ years of tradition. That’s when it got more interesting.

I’m a big sports fan. I get very passionate every year when NFL and MLB seasons roll around. I get very into the UFC when my favorite fighters are fighting. I get excited, angry, upset and pretty much any other emotion you can think of because of sports. If you ask my wife, she would probably say too much so. But anything I do or feel is a fraction of what these college football fans do or feel. At least that’s what I took away from “The American Game.”

The passion for the game is taken to a new level when it comes to college football fans. Some people would call them crazy, but really it’s just a misunderstood level of passion and this special examined every aspect of the game that feeds into that passion. Personally, I feel the spent just a little too much time on things like team colors and marching bands, but it was cool to look at everything from mascots to tailgates as opposed to the typical look at players and coaches.

“The American Game” kicked off a weekly series that examines the phenomenon that has become “College Football Saturday.”