Ok dear readers, this one has been bothering me for a few weeks and I have had some fluff-pieces the last few weeks, but I am anticipating not pulling any punches this week.  That’s a lie, I’m not hard on anyone or anything.  But this one has been bothering me and will continue to bother me from here to eternity.  The plethora of fans that is rampant across college football and even trickles into the Clemson fanbase at times.  Most of this will focus on others, but I hope you enjoy my “deep dive” into my least favorite of the college football fans.  

As with fun debate topics like politics and religion (I’m kidding, that’s not fun at all!) it’s more of a therapeutic piece for my own psyche.  So a word of caution, I will likely say things like “don’t do that anymore!” during this.  I know you won’t, but again, more for me.  I’m selfish.

First and foremost, listeners of Sluggo Podcast know that I am a Rutgers homer, being from New Jersey and all.  However, we have a friend and a group chat going, as all middle-aged college football fans do, right?  Quickly after the Clemson/Syracuse nail biter Friday night a screenshot of the Rutgers (convincing) 17-7 win over the same Syracuse team came across from my Rutgers “insider.”  This was completely in fun, and did not mean any harm from the sender to our predominantly Clemson fan group (heck, his wife is a two-time Clemson alum).  But it raised the hair on my back, and led me to thinking about some of these Guys around the country.  

Here are a few groups of fans that literally make me scratch my head and after scratching beat it profusely against a brick wall.  Likely explains a lot:

TRANSITIVE PROPERTY GUY:

I’m not a math guy, but the transitive property of inequality states that for all real numbers (are there fake numbers? I was told there would be no math here today!), if x>y and y>z then x>z.  So in football terms, as seen in the previous story, Rutgers beat Syracuse by 10, Clemson beat Syracuse by only 3, ERGO, Rutgers > Clemson.  I think even our most staunch Rutgers fanatics wouldn’t believe that based on those numbers that Rutgers is better than Clemson.  Maybe they are, but unless they play on the field, the scores of individual games are not indicative of actual results on the field.  We see it all the time.  

Here’s an example from 2017: Navy beat FAU; FAU beat Middle Tennessee State (MTSU); MTSU beat Syracuse; Syracuse beat Clemson, therefore Navy would beat Clemson.  Now it was tongue in cheek presumably, but see how that works?  Although I guess I am kind of reverting to the next guy on the list, who is “We REALLY Know Who Would Win That Game Even Though It Won’t Ever Happen” or WRKWWWTGETIWEH Guy.

WRKWWWTGETIWEH Guy:

This guy is generally found in the Southeastern Conference.  On my Twitter page: @FromSluggo, my more friendly, everyone’s friend Twitter page, I went at some SEC fans the other day.  Now it was mild at best on that app, but I find it odd how much 5-1 Pitt is feeling their “bad loss” to Directional Michigan in Week 2 of the season.  The “eye test” clearly shows that is a good football team.  Alabama lost to a bad Texas A&M team, and SEC guy will argue with me about that because it’s the inherent BS narrative that the SEC is better than every one else.  That’s another column for another day, but why is one team penalized for a bad loss and another team is glossed over.  

The response I got from WRKWWWTGETIWEH Guy was something to the effect that Bama’s best win was Ole Miss.  Ok, I can be down with that.  A defensively challenged team with possible Heisman trophy finalist, but that game was over within minutes for those that actually watched it.  Bama was up 35-7 at one point.  WRKWWWTGETIWEH Guy said that A&M would beat Pitt…  How do we know?  We don’t, and won’t.  There is a miniscule chance that these two teams would play in a non-descript bowl game in Albuquerque on December 15th.  Point being, we all can think that Team A could beat Team B, but unless it actually happens, we’ll never know for sure.  I get on my soapbox about WRKWWWTGETIWEH Guy.  Which leads me to his brother, “Conference Guy”.

CONFERENCE GUY

Thanks for reading this far.  Quick, short story (yeah right).  I had the opportunity to go to the 2014 Rose Bowl in Pasadena.  It was majestic and to this day, other than Rosenblatt Stadium, I would say the coolest venue I’ve ever seen a college sporting event, and I’ve been to two national championship games.  

Florida State vs. Oregon, on a picturesque New Years Eve in California.  It was awesome.  So, being the Clemson guy that I am I went in fully expecting to VEHEMENTLY root against Florida State.  This was the year that Jameis Winston had to sit out versus Clemson and FSU rallied to win 23-17 in overtime.  But I digress.  

Sitting in the stands surrounded by Oregon fans and only two, yes two Florida State fans.  Well, Oregon beat the turnover-laden Seminoles that night 59-20, but the point was there was a guy in front of me with a UCLA shirt, USC hat, Oregon belt buckle and Oregon State under armor sleeves under his t-shirt.  He was as obnoxious about the Pac-12 (if you couldn’t tell by that description of his attire,) as any SEC honk here in the southeast.  In our neck of the woods, we all know Conference Guy, as he/she may be our neighbors in South Carolina.  Even though Conference Guy’s favorite team is a terrible team, they still beat their chests that they’re in the same Conference as Alabama.  

This Pac-12 Guy led me to actively root for Florida State on that night, and that felt gross.  I am not sure why Clemson fans are not overly ACC fans when it comes to football, but I am ok not being “Conference Guy” and hope you’re not either.  Looking at you also-ran-SEC-team fan.

Which leads me to the point of this whole long-winded word salad of a column.  (It’s my tag line.  Sorry)

If’s and But’s Guy

If’s and But’s guy is a culmination of most of the other Guys on the list.  The guy or gal that will say, if Clemson played an SEC schedule they’d have never won national championships.  If South Carolina played in the ACC, they’d be undefeated.  If Oregon wasn’t so injured they wouldn’t have lost to Stanford.  I think you get the gist.  

My stock response is generally NSFW, and that is “if my aunt had #$%^, she’d be my uncle.” and I overuse that even more than “word salad.”  Maybe it’s just me and getting older, but I tend to be on the side of reality, not this fantasy world.  Former NFL legendary Head Coach Bill Parcells said it perfectly back in the day, “You are what your record says you are.”  Not what would hypothetically happen if two teams that would never play played.  It’s not going to happen.  Save yourself some angst and live in the now, and the reality.

My favorite of the If’s and But’s Guy traits is that of the moving conferences.  They are generally saying things like, “if Clemson were in the SEC they wouldn’t…” of my favorite, “Clemson doesn’t want to play in the SEC…”  HELLO!?!? This can’t just happen.  We cannot just say “POOF” and magically change conferences.  As cool as that would be to do, it just isn’t happening.  Even with this mad scramble to go to super conferences, it’s still just talking points from the same guy who publishes pre-season polls.  Meaningless!

Is This Column Over Yet Guy

Some days I will get on my pedestal and just write.  This was one of those days.  There are many great college football fans out there.  And debating about your favorite teams with others from other schools is one of my great joys.  Heck, debating with my co-hosts on Sluggo is glorious, but sometimes I just want to scream (and my wife will tell you I do occasionally let one out) when one of these “guys” show up on my timeline.  Now any mature adult would probably snicker and move along.  I aspire to be that Guy sometime soon, maybe by the time I am 50.  So for now…?

Go Tigers.  Beat Pitt!

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