Friday, January 8, 2010

Joseph O. Patton: Please don't read this if you're an Auburn football fan!

  Football rivalries, especially those emanating from the Deep South, tend to get ugly… I’m talkin’ Hatfield and McCoy ugly. The Auburn University versus University of Alabama feud takes the cake when it comes to being the most absurd fan pissing contest though, which is unfortunate and embarrassing for those of us living in this state.

  Despite the history of unbridled nastiness, I was nonetheless taken aback by the sheer number of Auburn fans who dug in their heels counting down to the BCS National Championship Game, abruptly and yet whole-heartedly converting to Texas Longhorns. You’d think they’d like to see their home state team - their greatest rival, fans who are their friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, etc. - bring home the big one. But no… they were flashing their fangs and fervently praying for a Texas victory. Though ironically enough, you’d think if nothing else and for selfish reasons, Auburn would want the badge of honor involved in nearly beating the team who ultimately became tops in the entire country.

  Is it simply bitterness from still being behind in the Iron Bowl series? Is it jealously arising from comparing the number of national championships Alabama has won, total bowl appearances, number of SEC championships versus Auburn’s record in those same areas? Who knows… but such behavior reminds me of a spoiled brat spewing third grade insults on a playground, and everyone knows he’s only doing it due to his own crippling insecurities and self-loathing, so he’s trying to tear down those around him in a pathetic effort to feel better about himself.

  Here’s an example of one such petty insult spewed by many Auburn fans leading up to the championship game and pulled out of their behinds whenever UA’s level of fan support is noted in any context:

  “Many Alabama fans didn’t even attend the university.”

  There are two humorous and telling things contained in this statement. First, it appears to be an excuse for the fact that Auburn does not have the level of support Alabama enjoys… period. Ironically, it’s likely due to these types of petty statements described above. Despite what you may have heard, no one finds an asshole endearing. But also, when did people working the gate at Jordan-Hare Stadium start demanding proof of a degree from Auburn before allowing fans into the games? Is this a new policy? And if that’s the criteria for being a fan, does that also mean someone outside the Atlanta city limits can’t root for the Braves? Or do you have to live within a ten-mile radius of the Garden in order to have the street cred necessary to cheer for the Celtics? For that matter, I guess this means if you’re not old enough to enroll in college, you’re not allowed to be a fan of college football at all and certainly aren’t at liberty to have a favorite team. Or what if someone transfers from Rooster Poot Community College to Auburn after completing their sophomore year? Does this mean that hence forth they’ll only be allowed to call themselves a “fan” 50 percent of the time?

  It’s also disturbing to read all the internet-based comments from Auburn fans accusing Alabama fans of everything from inbreeding to chronic toothlessness to illiteracy and even stealing babies in the night like the gypsies of yesteryear. (I guess they’re afraid to say such things in person and must instead retreat behind their computer monitors to spill their bile.) These people are almost as entertaining as the tin foil hat loonies who think our president was born in Indonesia, Kenya or some other country they probably can’t find on a map.

  What’s even more unsettling though is that countless Auburn fans seem to delight more in Alabama losing a game than their own team actually winning one. For example - and strangely enough - you’ll probably hear more Auburn fans frantically nitpicking and trying to undercut Alabama winning the national championship this year than you’ll hear Bama fans bragging about the win. Just relax, Tigers, be supportive of your own team and with any luck, you can avoid choking on that HaterAde. Perhaps if you funneled as much energy into supporting your own team instead of exhausting yourselves through your incessant, cheap sniping at Alabama, you’d be a lot better off… and have fewer stomach ulcers and bouts with chronic crankiness as a result.

  Despite such antics and without reservation, I’ll continue to pull for Auburn during the regular season… until the Iron Bowl of course. And I’ll root for them when they play in a bowl… even if it’s a team like Northwestern in which case I wasn’t even aware they had a football team. I am thoroughly impressed by and respect the rebuilding and growth Coach Gene Chizik has brought to their program, and I hope such progress will continue next year, making Auburn even more competitive. I firmly believe the ideal scenario for Auburn and Alabama fans would involve both teams heading into their last regular season game unbeaten with the stakes including far more than mere bragging rights. But if Auburn fans insist on crossing their fingers, slinging voodoo hexes on their Crimson and White neighbors, hoping Alabama loses every game, Nick Saban gets struck by lightening, UA’s players get stricken with leprosy or any other childish, petty, immature thought or desire, so be it…. such sour sentiment speaks for itself and you guys are at complete liberty to do so… even if it makes you look like insufferable douche bags in the process.

  Trust me, my Auburn brethren, you will always look better sporting orange and blue than covered from head to toe in envy green.

Editor’s note: Roll Tide Roll!

  About the author: Joseph O. Patton is the editor-in-chief and founder of the Capital City Free Press.

Copyright © Capital City Free Press


  1. Well written. As a fan of Auburn (and not having attended at the main campus), it was a pleasure watching an in-state team take that pretty crystal ball home to Alabama. For what it's worth, I find it easy to take pride in solid SEC football returning to the fore. That being said, War Eagle, it's great to have a rivalry, and here's to another better part of a year waiting for September:)

  2. I would like to point out that I'm an Auburn fan, have been since a young age. I did not attend Auburn, but I do celebrate their wins and curse their losses. However, on THursday, I too, believe it or not, was shouting Roll Tide. Granted here in California, the game wasn't as big a deal as there, so I'm sure some coworkers thought I was loony with my game watching antics. For me, I looked at it as being a great thing that a National Championship was going home to my home state. That the conference I support, the SEC, had another national champion on its list. Yes, there were some rabid Auburn fans who talked down about the Crimson Tide, but there have been times in the psst that I've heard Bama fans make this comment, "I'm for Alabama and whoever Auburn plays." So, while some of us have class and do the right thing, the fact that there are rabid fans is not limited just to Auburn. If the shoe was on the other foot, and Auburn had played Texas, something tells me there would have been a great deal of Roll Tide converted to Hook'em Horns. So be fair and remember, we don't all act like the fans you described.