Please indulge me as I rant through a keyboard.
We, as Alabama fans, have had to endure plenty of jabs from opposing fans over the years. Some may have been deserved at times, but there are those that seem too egregious to ignore.
The one I choose to focus on today is the myth that Alabama fans don’t have a connection with their school that Auburn fans claim to have, because- as it has been described to me by a few Auburn fans- a majority of Alabama fans have never attended their University. Through this message, many of the mean spirited AU fans imply that Alabama fans are “sidewalk alums” who don’t even have college degrees. This is total garbage and has been allowed to float around the radio airwaves too long without a fair rebuttal.
First of all, I would like to know what right has been given to these Auburn fans that allows them to determine who has and has not been to college, much less determine their worth as humans if they have not attended college. I’ve met plenty of people who have had great success in their college and professional careers, only to allow their inner being to rot by kicking ethics to the curb. Likewise, I’ve met plenty of people who work hard and haven’t had all of the benefits in life to go to college, and they have hearts of gold.
Am I to assume that even though the college grad is not the kind of person I want influencing my future children, he or she is worth more because they have a diploma? If that is the case, then somebody needs to inform Tommy Tuberville, because he may have made a big mistake in his 2008 recruiting class if all he looks for is a quality person.
Second, I would like to know how much different the level of connection a alumnus feels for their University compared to Auburn alumni. Isn’t every university special for their current and former students? And if not, then I would like to know why the “Auburn Experience” is so much better. Every time I’ve asked, I’ve gotten cookie cutter answers that usually involve “well, it’s hard to describe” or, “you wouldn’t understand. You just have to go there to get it.” To me, that is a tell-tell sign that you can’t identify any quality that makes your school better than the others, because deep down you know that everyone feels a deep sense of pride and connectivity with their alma mater.
Finally, let’s not forget that there are plenty of Auburn fans that do not have degrees from Auburn University. Are they of lesser value, even though they happen to cheer for the Tigers just like any Auburn graduate? No, because if that were the case, then a good portion of that stadium would fit into that category of sidewalk alumni. In fact, half of my family would be in that boat. Yes, I have plenty of relatives who are Auburn fans, and I find them to be just as useful any Auburn alumnus. They are intelligent, and worked hard to earn their college degrees from schools like Troy and other fine institutions.
Fans are fans, plain and simple. a Ph. D. does not give you an ability to cheer louder or anything else fans contribute during a game. Even “educated” people- much like the ones I discussed in this post- resort to childish emotions and name calling (see “sidewalk alums”) in the spirit of competition. A person should be judged by their actions and character.
Needless to say, I do not mean for this to be a blanket statement in regards to Auburn fans. We all know some good people who cheer for the orange and blue, and we appreciate them for who they are. But, there are always fans in every fan base who feel they must say anything necessary to gain an upper hand in the smack talk that dominates our sports society today. Sure, some smack is fun and brings excitement to sports. But there is a line, and way too many people feel the need to cross it time and time again.
In closing, I’d like to ask you to vote in my poll on the left-hand side of the page. There’s really no purpose for this poll other than to compliment this post, so have at it.