21 August 2008
12. Mississippi State: The only time State fans get really upset is when you make fun of their rustic town. I know this from experience. But you know what? If I’d have been a Starkvillian and read what I wrote back in 2005, I’d have gotten ticked, too.I guess the unbelievable amount of whining that came from Starkville a few years back when the SEC announced that (GASP) it was actually going to enforce the rule banning artificial noise makers didn't make it to Atlanta. The State fans aren't the worst in the league, not even close really. But that many cow bells has to get them off of the bottom of this list.
11. Kentucky: No, not because I’m an alum. Because, contrary to popular belief, the world’s worst basketball fans actually care about football. Unlike in hoops, though, they’re not ready to fire their coach after a loss. Good thing, since the football ‘Cats lose a lot.I've only been to Kentucky once for football, and I'll agree with this for the most part. They were pretty gracious. Basketball is a different story, but since this is a football list, we'll leave that out. Somewhere near the bottom is a good place for the Cats fans.
10. Vanderbilt: The best thing about Vandy is its academics. The worst thing about Vandy fans is their insistence in hitting you over the head with those academics. If the Commodores don’t care about winning, why are in they in this cutthroat league?I'm okay with this one, too. Vandy fans, the few that actually make it into the stadium are not too terrible. Yes, there is a sense of superiority about them. And, yes, that is annoying. But they seem to understand that they are the conference's bottom feeder... and they hate Tennessee a lot.
9. Ole Miss: There really aren’t that many Rebel fans, but half of that number feels the burning need to emulate William Faulkner - he was from Oxford and spent a year at the university - and write long and difficult books about Ole Miss football.Ole Miss fans can get out of hand during the game... but 20 minutes after it's all over the party on The Grove is far more important than the football game. The fact that he mentioned William Faulkner in this instead of one of the nation's best game day traditions makes me question if he's actually been to Oxford. He also failed to mention the women... I'm not sure he left the press box.
8. LSU: Winning fans tend to be the most overstated, but somehow Tiger backers manage to stay relatively polite even when they’re bragging about all their national championships. Maybe it’s because they know, win or lose, they’ll always have the best food.Mr. Bradley probably didn't get accosted by the worst LSU fans because he is an adult male... their worst fans tend to stick to yelling at women and children. Does this analysis make sens to anyone? "Bragging about all their national championships." All 3 of them? And considering that 1 of them was last year, the last time Bradley could have possibly been to an LSU game there would have been 2 of them. Sure, LSU fans know that they have the best food... they do. Many of them would also likely be offended by being this low on this list. Many LSU fans take pride in creating an intimidating environment. They want to be known as the worst fans in the SEC to their opponents. And they succeed... with flying colors they are the worst. Now it's possible that they are worse to Alabama fans than they are to Georgia. Not winning a home game against the Tide for the vast majority of the Cold War can create extra bitterness. They are mean, they are nasty... they are drunk now in anticipation of their first game. I question whether Mr. Bradley has actually been to a game in Baton Rouge.
7. Tennessee: Being a Kentuckian by birth and a Georgian for 24 years, I’m supposed to be disposed to hate UT fans. Sorry, but I never have. Don’t mind all the orange. Don’t mind hearing “Rocky Top” a thousand times. Don’t know why I don’t, but there it is.Really? They deserve top 5 for just how obnoxious the color orange is, especially the shade that they wear. "Rocky Top" playing a thousand times doesn't help, either. He claims to not mind them... that's fine and dandy... their fans are awful. Their media relations department is the best the SEC and among the best in the nation. The media gets absolute 1st class treatment from the time they arrive in Knoxville, to game time in the conference's best press box, to leaving with fantastic game day notes. I can understand how a guy who sits in the press box for every game might like Tennessee. But someone who sits in the stands? Not a chance. Again, this could be a case of UT fans being more harsh on Bama fans than on UGA fans - though I seriously doubt that. This is a fan base that carried a car with an Alabama tag down to the river and threw it in. They are easily top 5.
6. South Carolina: Sisyphus would be a Gamecock. These fans keep showing up, sure that this will finally be be their year. When this year turns out no different from all others, they simply shrug and show up the next year. Kind of sad, but also kind of admirable.This one surprised me, because my 2 trips to Columbia were nice. During the last one I was accosted by a USC fan prior to the game for wearing my Alabama shirt. Four Gamecock fans, who were not with him, pulled him away from me and apologized for his behavior. He lists them 6th here, but doesn't mention anything other than how they are good fans. I've only been twice, so my reading could be totally wrong, like his on LSU... but these guys have been nice both times; nowhere near the top half.
5. Arkansas: It was over the top for Hog fans to file Freedom of Information requests to gain access to Houston Nutt’s cell phone records, but it was over the top in an amusing way. One word of warning: Don’t try that stuff with Bobby Petrino. He’ll just up and leave.I'll grant him that the stuff with Houston Nutt was outrageous. But talking strictly game day here... I've been to Fayetteville 4 times and not had a Razorback fan even look at me with mean intentions. Maybe it's the fact that the team colors and logos are similar, but I doubt it. Arkansas has had enough sports success that they don't feel that same sense of "second class citizen" that some of the other teams on the list do. They also haven't been in the conference long enough to develop hatred for another team or its fans.
4. Alabama: Tide fans used to be the best at being boorish, but now they’re just irrelevant. They don’t have any reason to strut anymore, so they have to make do with whining about how Tennessee cheats twice as much as Bama but never gets penalized for it.I don't mind being lumped into the top 5 here, but this analysis is just lazy. Bama fans are obnoxious. We are. But saying that we are because folks on talk radio whine about Phillip Fulmer? That's weak. We might not be the dominant program that we were in the 60s and 70s, but we are still the conference's all-time winningest program, have the most SEC titles, and the most national titles... that's a little something to strut about.
3. Georgia: Too many grown-up Bulldog fans continue to believe that a game cannot be properly enjoyed without consuming mass quantities of alcohol. A tip: Just because you’re going to watch college football doesn’t give you license to act like you’re still in college.I can appreciate that he's willing to put his local fan base into the top 5. But to trash them for drinking too much after having LSU ranked 8th is ridiculous. Georgia fans are guilty of the same sin that put South Carolina fans at #6... the blind devotion that this year will be the year. I've only been to Athens twice, so things might change after this year. But for now, I'd have a hard time putting Georgia this high. They like to drink? So what. Give me a fan base on this list that doesn't.
2. Auburn: Taking their lead from the preening Tommy Tuberville, Auburn people won’t shut up about how they’ve come to dominate Alabama. This is precisely the thing that used to frost these same folks when they were being dominated. They have become what they beheld.I can't really argue much with that. There are more reasons for Auburn being this high on the list than just this, but I think he found the nail with the hammer here.
1. Florida: Gator fans didn’t become obnoxious when Steve Spurrier started beating everybody. They were obnoxious when their team couldn’t win the SEC to save its life. And for all Floridians still irked by Georgia’s celebration, here are two words to Google: Gator Flop.It's interesting to me that Florida would be this high when you consider that Mr. Bradley's experience with Gator fans is most likely limited to the UF-UGA game, and that's not played on campus in Gainsville. I've only been once, so I can't claim a ton of knowledge about the Gators. The fact that my one trip there saw Bama come away with a victory seemed to kill the obnoxious fire in the Gator fans belly. I've been around them other places, though, and they are rough. I think it's worth pointing out, before I give you my list, that every fan base has its people who take it too far. We all have fans that are an embarrassment to the program. Every one of these schools also has good fans. We all have the type of fans who will buy a post-game drink for an opponent's fans, or try to raise money for an opposing player's father to see his son play (see UGA vs. Boise State). In this type of list there is an awful lot of generalizing that goes on. No fan base wants to be judged solely by its worst, and no fan base should be judged solely by its best. I've been to a game at all 12 SEC schools, some more than others, and here's my list: 12. South Carolina - like I said before, the Gamecocks fans have been nothing but nice to me and my group both times I've been. Similar to Arkansas they haven't been in the league long enough to develop the type of rivalry that really brings out the nastiness. 11. Arkansas - see above. I've been to both Little Rock and Fayetteville for games and never had a single problem... not the night before a game, not during pregame, not during the game, and not postgame. They are loud and they pull for their team. 10. Vanderbilt - there just aren't enough of them to warrant being any higher. They can be smug, but they don't push it to the point of ridiculousness. Maybe being out-numbered at home helps with that. 9. Kentucky - they are usually more interested in the beginning of basketball season or whatever horse race might be going on near the stadium to get into your face. If this was a basketball list they would be far and away the #1, but for football they are mostly harmless. 8. Ole Miss - They get a little rowdy (and by rowdy I mean drunk) during the game and have had problems with things being thrown onto the field. But once postgame rolls around The Grove is open to all. It doesn't matter what colors you are wearing, if you like to eat, drink & watch football then you're welcome at a tent that has extra space. Oh, and by "watch football" of course I really mean "watch the Ole Miss women on the grove." Wow. 7. Georgia - As I said above, their worst fault is that they always seem to think that this will be the year that they win it all. It might be the case in this particular year, but it hasn't been for 2 decades now. I've never had a problem in Athens, not for basketball, gymnastics, or football. Sure they drink a lot... so do I. 6. Mississippi State - Cow bells, cow bells, cow bells. They are openly and blatantly breaking SEC rules. They do it with the open permission of their game day folks also. Try to start a discussion about taking the cow bells away and the crying can be heard 90 miles away in Tuscaloosa. They are also pretty nasty to the opposing fans. 5. Alabama - I wish I could put our own fan base lower, but I simply can't. We're not terribly nice to opposing fans. Hell, we're not terribly nice to each other half of the time. I think a lot of that has come about during this last 25 years of frustration, and it is my hope that when Bama starts to win again, our fan base will not become more obnoxious. Instead I hope that we'll remember to act like we've been there before. 4. Florida - My experience is somewhat limited, so they don't crack the top 3. This could simply be a matter of not having spent enough time around the jorts wearing crew from Florida. It is certainly a different game day experience there than anywhere else in the conference. Their folks are not nice at all, but they just don't hold a candle to the top 3. 3. Tennessee - the orange, the inbreeding, the 100,000+ people crammed into a stadium that should only hold about 90,000... oh, and that damned song. My last trip to Knoxville was actually relatively pleasant, as I spent a good deal of time discussing the game with an elderly UT fan as we slowly made our way out Neyland Stadium. That ended when a less classy Vol fan decided to cuss me out for wearing red, and cuss him out for being nice to me. Yep, that's UT for you. 2. Auburn - If I belonged to another SEC school the Tigers might be a little lower on this list, because I'm sure they save their worst for us. But if you've ever been stuck in traffic for 3 hours on wire road (would 1 more road out of town be too much to ask?) then you know why Auburn sits here at #2. They hate us and are not the least bit shy of letting us know that. 1. LSU - It ain't even close, folks. In the past I've had the experience of riding on the team bus (bus #4 with the wives and support staff) to game. Most places have fans line up to taunt the buses when the approach the stadium. But at LSU they throw things, mostly food. They have people holding up their 3 years old so that the young Tiger can shoot the bird at the buses from a higher vantage point. They have old people turning their walkers around so they can still be supported when they are mooning the buses. And then you have to get off of the bus and actually hear them... the things that come out of the mouths of Tiger fans. And that's just the women and children.
|< Prev||Next >|