Brian Curtis at the always interesting Grantland has a two part series on fandom. Part one lays out rules; part two lays out exceptions. Essentially, he tries to do the impossible and give hard and fast rules for any situation you find yourself in regarding your primary college football fandom.
His premise is this:
College football deserves (a guide to fandom): a guide to picking a school, keeping a school, and, in extremely rare cases, changing schools. I’m not interested in small-time rules. Like: Can you refer to your college team as “we”? (Yes.) Or: Can you watch a game plastered? (Of course.) Like an NCAA enforcement officer, I’m looking at your eligibility. Anyone can watch College GameDay or buy a T-shirt, but there are only a few circumstances in which you have a bona fide claim to a particular team.It is simple if you chose well and did the right thing with your college choice. That is your school. Same if you didn't go to college or attended a
Of course, it doesn't take long to get to some that are dead on. For example, I see one that covers many, many Florida and Alabama fans immediately:
“I’m a fan of the school I grew up down the street from.”If you decided to go to USF, then you are a Bulls fan. Same for you UAB suckers. Which leads to this (I know this particular one gets into some Georgia fans' wheelhouse):
Sigh. Growing up near a university isn’t a good reason to root for them beyond high school. For instance, I grew up in Fort Worth near TCU. In 2010, when TCU won the Rose Bowl, I could have played the “I grew up there” card as a sneaky route to backdoor double-fandom. But that wouldn’t have worked for two reasons. One, I would have been cheating on Texas (which was 5-7, but that’s life). Two, the hometown rule would benefit people who grew up in Columbus, Tuscaloosa, Boise, etc. This kind of fandom is both prohibited and despicable.
“My D-1 school sucks.”Ken Bud Sothman went to Ball State. He asks: Why can’t I get an upgrade? Why does an Indiana University Kokomo grad qualify for the 1-AA Exception but a Ball State grad doesn’t?I do disagree that you can't end a Saturday night breaking even. That is the one thing his rules miss: how do you count your hatred of or a program? For example, while it doesn't make up for a Georgia loss, a loss by Florida/Tech/Tennessee/Auburn does go a long way in pushing the Saturday to a break even.
Here’s why: Because Ball State has big-time opponents. This year, the Cardinals play Clemson and Indiana. You might think you can adopt Notre Dame, Ken, but you’re just inviting a future double-fandom scenario. This is what we’re absolutely trying to avoid in college football. You should never end a Saturday by saying, “Well, I broke even.”
Moreover, Ball State made a bowl as recently as 2009. The dynamite will go boom again. And when it does, Ken, you will have TCU-level bragging rights.
Fun read, go check it out.