I did this a couple of years ago and everybody pretty much hated it. Meaning: Time to try it again!
On Thursday I’ll reveal my ranking, from 1 through 12, of the SEC’s most obnoxious football fans. Today I ask for your help. I’m not promising I’m going to change my mind to dovetail with your opinion(s), but I do promise to take the results of this poll into the sincerest form of consideration.
My question to you: Which fan base would you consider the SEC’s most objectionable? Two years I ago I plumped for Florida, which is always a popular (or, in this case, an unpopular) choice in these and other parts. I’m halfway thinking this time there should be a new No. 1, and it’s probably not the one you’re expecting. But before you hear from me, I’d like to hear from you.
And, just as a teaser, I present in full the 2008 Bradley table of obnoxiousness. (Myself not included.) Here’s how I saw it back then. On Thursday I’ll let you know what has and hasn’t changed.
From 2008: The Bradley rankings
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.