TEN REALITIES OF COLLEGE FOOTBALL FANS
I love college football. I also love college football fans. I have learned that all fan bases are different in some ways, but similar in many others. In my 40 plus years of working in, or around, college athletics, hare are some universal truths I have come to learn about college football fans.
1. EVERYONE THINKS THEY CAN COACH. Coaching is a unique profession. For some reason, everyone thinks they can do it and they think that it is easy. Pay attention and listen to the comments in the stands around you at a game. Coaching is not easy and most fans have no clue what is involved with coaching and recruiting.
2. MOST FAN BASES ARE INSISTENT THAT THEIR MARCHING BAND IS THE BEST IN THE COUNTRY. It isn’t.
3. MOST FAN BASES ARE INSISTENT THAT THEIR FIGHT SONG IS THE BEST IN THE COUNTRY. Just because it is the fight song of your favorite team does not mean it is the best. Most fans can’t be objective. I can. For example, I am not a Michigan fan, but Hail to the Victors is the best fight song in the country. Other than Conquest of USC, which really isn’t a fight song, nothing else is even close.
4. MOST COLLEGE FAN BASES THINK THEIR CONFERENCE HAS THE WORST OFFICIATING IN THE COUNTRY. Ask around. No fan base likes the officials in their conference. When I was broadcasting the Marshall games, our fans were convinced that the Southern Conference officials were out to get us. (There were times that I agreed).
5. MOST COLLEGE FAN BASES THINK THEIR TICKET OFFICE IS THE WORST IN THE COUNTRY.
6. MOST COLLEGE FAN BASES THINK THEIR OWN SPORTS INFORMATION OFFICE AND MEDIA RELATION OFFICE IS THE WORST IN THE COUNTRY. The ticket office, the sports information office, the athletic marketing office and even the Athletic Directors office have become the “blame centers” in college athletics. Sadly, it has become the nature of the business.
7. MOST COLLEGE FAN BASES THINK THEIR SCHOOL HAS THE BEST TAILGATING SCENE IN AMERCA. Unless your school is Ole Miss, you’re wrong.
8. MOST COLLEGE FAN BASES THINK THE NETWORK STUDIO ANALYSTS ARE OUT TO GET THEM. Just because a studio analyst picks your team to lose does not mean he WANTS them to lose. They are asked to make a pick on games and they aren’t basing the pick on who they would like to see win.
9. MOST COLLEGE FOOTBALL FAN BASES THINK THEIR RADIO PLAY BY PLAY ANNOUNCER IS THE BEST IN THE COUNTRY. Truth be told, most fans don’t hear many other broadcasters and they can’t objectively compare. Fans like “their” announcer because he tells them what they want to hear. When the fans are excited, he’s excited. When the fans are sad, he’s sad. In the days when radio broadcasts seemed more important, Mountaineer fans used to love Jack Fleming. Kentucky fans loved Cawood Ledford, North Carolina fans loved Woody Durham, Tennesse fans loved Jon Ward and so on. They could do no wrong in the eyes and ears of their fan bases.
10. IFYOU ARE A COLLEGE FOOTBALL FAN AND YOU DISAGREE WITH MANY OF THE TOP NINE OBSERVANCES, YOU ARE HELPING TO PROVE MY POINT.
***You can e-mail Frank Giardina at: firstname.lastname@example.org.