[Author’s note: it’s been quite awhile since I’ve posted anything college football related and I would like apologize to the .01% of dedicated readers of my weekly posts. Sometimes day jobs get hectic and sometimes you tend to put your hobbies on the shelf for awhile. There. That’s my excuse]
The last Thursday in November is usually reserved for the gluttonous holiday known as Thanksgiving. It’s a time of year where extended families gather around a table and pretend to tolerate each other long enough to clean off their plate of pumpkin pie. But this shortened work week dedicated to mass tryptophan consumption, hectic Black Holiday shopping and drunken diatribes about Miley Cyrus from your crazy uncle would not be complete without the catharsis found in hating the hell out of your rival college’s football team.
The last Saturday in November has become the showcase for the most bitter rivalries in college football. A lot of the storied match-ups are here: Auburn-Alabama, Clemson-South Carolina, Ohio State-Michigan, UCLA-USC. The whole week is a build up of antagonizing opposing fan bases with Thanksgiving serving as a (sometimes) temporary muzzle on baseless accusations about other fan bases and the players that represent the university. Once all of the leftovers have been stored away, it’s an echo chamber of disapproval and disgust. To lose to the other side will mean 365 days of eating the crow you let loose with every jab at the opposing team. To win means laughing endlessly at your opponent with all the joy of a sick child as he burns ants using the rays of a summer sun and a magnifying glass.
Rivalry week taps into the petulant child in every fan base and it would be unjust for us at TwH to not feed into the fervor that this week brings. That’s why I bring you a biased look at each rivalry as well as how I view their fans.
Florida-Florida State: Florida sucks. I hate Florida. Not just the university but the entire state of Florida. The state should be considered it’s own country. I know, I know – the sun shines all the time there but you also have a 76% chance dying via vehicular manslaughter from someone’s boat falling off of their trailer. When I think of Florida, I think of Spring Breakers. It’s the most bleak look at society filtered through a neon light. What would possess you to live in a state that the Southeast (and Northeast) uses as it’s personal, drug-riddled party?
Which is why I feel bad for the youth who attend both Florida and Florida State. These kids are mostly residents of this reckless state so, for the most part, they have no choice but to attend these institutions. They are subjugated to a vicious cycle of debauchery and sometimes, even worse, bad football. Every time ESPN highlights a fan of either of these schools I expect to hear Sarah McLachlin tell me how I can donate just $.50 to save some of these souls.
If you want to get into specifics, Gator fans wear jorts and perform the Gator Chomp whenever they deem it appropriate. Their way of life is represented by an arm motion that even an extra on The Walking Dead
can perform. It’s all they do now that they’ve lost to Georgia Southern but hey, they are mentally superior to their “Tallatrashee” counter parts, I guess.
Yes, if you didn’t know, Florida State is every Florida student’s safety school. Every UF student will tell you this is the place where aspiring Gators who did not make the grade have to attend until they raise their GPA hopefully before dying from an abundance of alcohol. Yeah, Tallahassee likes to drink! You have to do something to calm your nerves when you’re attending a four year LMFAO music video. Florida fans would prefer to “cruuuiiiiseee” with Florida-Georgia Line on a lawn mower that’s been filled with kerosene because Will Muschamp thinks that oil is oil is oil at the end of the day.
Ohio State-Michigan: Michigan is a mitten full of abandoned warehouses and putrid smells. The privileged auto executives who send their kids to Ann Arbor would suggest otherwise as they continue to pilfer the pockets of Detroit’s dwindling population. That’s because Michigan Men have the attitude of turn of the century industrialists. They are greedy, sniveling little bastards who hold up Tim Allen and Jeff Daniels as beacons of state pride. They ash out on Flint and East Lansing because they can and because they run their factories. They own businesses across America because their money has perpetuated America’s ignorance as to what a Michigan degree actually is. At the end of the day, it’s a piece of paper that says “good job – you captain of industry, you” written in dark blue crayon.
If Kanye has a bone to pick with any institution’s reinforcement of glass ceilings, it’s the University of Michigan and their failure to grasp the concept of empathy.
As far as Ohio is concerned, keep scrolling. There’s nothing wrong with Ohio or THE Ohio State University. Our schedule is awesome and we beat the hell out of opponents we should. Remember when Northwestern was ranked? We sure do! Remember when Cal used to be a formidable out of conference opponent? We sure do! Did I mention that we’ve won 23 straight games in the 2012 and 2013 Big Ten? Yeah, suck it.
There’s a reason we are number three and it is because the SEC/ACC recruit “thugs” and “criminoles” to play the game rather than men of good character who study and do academic-like things. If the BCS factored that in, we would be sitting pretty on pride rock. But noooooo, all those so called “journalists” think otherwise. To hell with those people – THE Ohio State University iz numba one!
Clemson-South Carolina: I have been in the middle of this rivalry for a strong 17 years and neither side can shut up about their insignificance in national historical relevance. We care about this rivalry now – yeah, great! Whoopie! Props to both of you! But I don’t care about Paul Dietzel or Danny Ford or how many years the Clemson streak was when South Carolina sucked. Your schools are stationed in the same state that has the nation’s third lowest average income per state. And don’t even get me started on your perceived differences.
Oh, Clemson fans are just backwoods farm people. Oh, South Carolina fans are hicks that live in a shitty town. Just quit. I have seen both sides and they are equally terrible. The only point of wondrous pride you have to take in anything is your football team because there isn’t much going on in terms of mental development. Both of your schools are the primordial stew of the east coast. This rivalry is the worst because it’s like watching the Hatfields and McCoys try to play Trivial Pursuit. In the end, it always ends with a musket being pointed in someone’s face because nobody can read the cards.
North Carolina-Duke: This game has national relevance because Duke is magically 9-2. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be talking about it because I don’t want to make these two fan bases seem more important than they already think they are.
The pretension runs fucking deep in this one. These are the biggest fan bases responsible for making the ACC the “wine and cheese league”.
To expound on this, Duke is attended by kids from around the East Coast who couldn’t get into their Ivy League safety school of Georgetown and would not even fathom the thought of attending a state school. Their reaction to the happenings on Franklin Street is probably akin to Chris Lilley’s Ja’mie character on Summer Heights High. These kids are the ones who make your blood pressure boil when you see some of their atrocious chants at basketball, and now probably, football games. They call themselves “Crazies” – I call them entitled with no sense of self-awareness.
On the other hand, North Carolina is no better. I lived in South Carolina about ten minutes from the North Carolina border. When I heard Carolina being referenced growing up, it was a direct mention of the University of South Carolina. As soon as you cross that invisible border, people who went to Chapel Hill have a compulsive wiring within their brain to correct you at the drop of the hat. And it’s not in any sort of playful banter sort of way. It’s said with the high nasal pitch of a Thurston Howell. “I think you mean South Carolina,” they say with the haughtiness of someone who only drinks Fiji water. Fuck these people. They go to a school that wishes it was private with a sketchy record of academic integrity that fails to back-up their heady claims as a “premiere state school”. Oh yeah, and their newspaper publishes some racist shit.
Auburn-Alabama: I have had the great misfortune of knowing fans of both of these schools. Just when you think you’ve been slapped across the face with enough ignorance in South Carolina, you come across these people.
Alabama is a powerhouse of a program with some of the most repugnant members of society as their biggest supporters. When somebody in your fan base runs out and poisons some of the oldest trees, you can’t wash that off until you win about three more championships. And it’s not like it’s hard to do with Little Debbie Tyrant, Nick Saban at the helm.
Saban has already been given a statue near Bryant-Denny stadium because people who love Alabama also love the monolith of football. As another publication commented, Alabama football is like North Korea and Saban is like it’s Kim Jong-Un. Alabama football is best football and we should all get out of the way because it’s going to crush us for another thousand years.
Auburn, on the other hand, is a hapless idiot. A wandering drunk that stumbles upon a $100 bill one minute (Cam Newton) and then manages to squander all of it on Doritos and McNuggets the next (Scot Loeffler’s hire). It doesn’t have the success that it’s rival has but it would like to tell you that it plans to do better one day. This point is made in shouting fits that attempt to say, “War Eagle” but sound more like drunken mumbles. You feel like you’ve hit the sauce one time too many just hearing Charles Barkley or Pat Dye just speak about it.
UCLA-USC: Los Angeles, or the more pejorative “the place where Bill Simmons lives”, is home to two of the west coast’s most bratty fan bases. Unlike the east coast’s snobbery that stems mostly from Wall Street, these are sons and daughters of individuals who have made LaLa Land what it is today. They are materialistic people with plenty of money. They may have brains but you’d be hard pressed to find someone who isn’t as shallow as a kiddie pool.
USC football is one of the sport’s blue bloods. It was the home of OJ, Pat Haden’s glory years and Pete Carroll’s powerhouse teams. This has given USC a lot to brag about over the years. But recently, USC has seen hard times with the firebomb known as Lane Kiffin at the head of the program. Now, they seem humming along again with Ed Orgeron blustering and bumbling his ways to victory. This has given reason for the University of Spoiled Children to be excited again and that just hurts me because if anybody should be happy it’s everybody else in the PAC 12.
Not saying that I necessarily have any warm, fuzzy feelings for UCLA either. The Bruins are led by Jim. Mora. Jr. You know? The former head douchebag in charge of the Atlanta Falcons. A real asshat – this one. If you got anything nice to say about their program, save it for John Wooden and Lew Alcindor. The best purpose he would serve would be to have Bill Walton lob the most ridiculous comments he could get away with at a press conference.
Georgia-Georgia Tech: Georgia likes to make fun of Georgia Tech because they are filled to the brim with nerds. Tech likes to make fun of Georgia because Bulldog fans have no concept of what a civil engineer does. At the end of the day, does it matter?
Tech, though they may be the more “advanced” of the two schools, have a coach who still thinks it’s wonderful to run the triple option in 2013. It’s one of the most boring displays of football I have ever watched. Last year during the ACC Championship Game, I watched Georgia Tech run the ball relentlessly while the weather in Charlotte hovered below the 40 degree mark. Because of this boring option of football and the cold association I have with it, I have grown to detest the Yellow Jackets. If there’s anything that December brings besides endless Christmas songs in every surrounding, it’s the memory of a cold stadium and Paul Johnson cementing his status as the ACC’s only “walrus as head coach”.
The spite that I have in my heart for Tech is nothing near the amount of hate that I have for the University of Georgia and their fan base full of illiterate trolls. No, you will never get a Heisman candidate until you do something of substance. Yeah, Herschel Walker was one of the best but he’s no longer there. No, I don’t want you to bark in my ear when your Bulldogs have made a first down. Yes, your student section stole the concept for the “Spike Squad” from a certain team located across the Mississippi. Now go play golf and worship at the altar of Bobby Jones before I have to show you more footage of you losing to KIRK COUSINS.
Virginia-Virginia Tech: Watching Virginia and Virginia Tech play is like watching an episode of The Beverly Hillbillies. It’s the one time of the year where the prissy, buttoned-up Wahoos have to sit next to people who consider camouflage a sensible fashion choice. Virginia Tech fans offer disgusted Virginia fans whole turkey legs and bourbon in the parking lot. Virginia fans can’t quit huffing about how much they wish they had just stayed home rather than ventured out to a tailgate.
If these fan bases are good for anything, it’s watching each of their reprehensible selves interact with one another. Because if you are paying attention to the actual football – I wish you all the best of luck. Seeing the Cavaliers play can make you question if anybody on the coaching staff has ever read a Playbook while Virginia Tech seems like the only football concept they were ever taught was defense. Maybe so for Tech as life for them is about defending the land they live on especially those uppity city dwellers in Charlottesville.
Mississippi-Mississippi State: CLANGA best describes the noise made by a cow bell which renders your ears useless for sixty minutes in Starkville. THE GROVE best describes what Ole Miss football has been about since the 1960s when the program was at its best while the school was at its worst. Ole Miss likes to pretend that they have more than State can offer in terms of things like “writing” and “long division” but the fact remains that each one is not necessarily that different from one another. If State had a little more money and a little more decency, they could very well be Ole Miss Lite. And if Ole Miss made more of an effort to rid themselves of their terrible past, they’d probably be Alabama Lite.
In conclusion, you are no better than any other fan from any opposing fan base. So as your dose of humility for the week, I’d like to send you off with a nice present: I HATE YOU AND YOU AND YOUR TERRIBLE TEAM. I HOPE ALL THE BAD THINGS IN LIFE HAPPEN TO YOUR TEAM AND NOBODY ELSE BUT YOU.
[EDIT: YEAH I DIDN’T TALK ABOUT OREGON-OREGON STATE OR WASHINGTON-WASHINGTON STATE BECAUSE PEOPLE IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST ARE TOO DAMN NICE TO HAVE A RIVALRY WORTH MENTIONING. AND YOUR TEAMS ARE NOT AS GOOD AS THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY]