Take It Down a Notch

fanaticsFor football fanatics (you know who you are.)

By Luke Robinson


We have all followed football in this state for a long time. It’s in our blood. As Alabamians, we think we know everything we need to know about getting ready for the college football season. Some of you, however, almost know too much. You get so wrapped up in all things SEC that you become detached from a normal, sane society. Luckily, I am here to offer some suggestions as to how to be a football fan without being that fan.

For Alabama fans, my first suggestion would be to resolve to be more humble in 2014. Though modesty has never been a Bama fan’s strong suit and recent successes will make this chore difficult, it could serve the fan base well to not become suicidal over a loss in the Sugar Bowl.

Pre-Saban, the Tide had a decade’s worth of secretary-groping, expense-account-abusing, Bambi-expression-having coached teams that embarrassed Alabama daily. Those days were as frustrating as playing a bad speller in “hangman” (yes, there is an Z in “zebra,” you jackass!) The Tide is the country’s best program now, but all glory is fleeting. Soak in these next few years of Nick Saban, because his successor is most assuredly not going to be as good.

My second recommendation for Tide fans would be to avoid the temptation to tattoo anything regarding Alabama on your bodies. Most of you have seen the guy who had The Bear inked on his arm (How’d you like to see him explain that at a company picnic?) and know exactly what I mean. I suppose a small script ‘A’ or an understated ‘Roll Tide’ is acceptable in this tattoo-crazy world, but one-square-foot images of any current or former coaches should be shunned. In a drunken stupor, it may seem cool to use your back’s epidermis like an Etch-a-Sketch to emblazon Nick Saban’s stoic mug, but what if Saban decided to leave for the Tennessee Titans? Those ink portraits aren’t easily (or painlessly) erased, you know. Sure, Bama’s  most recent natty-winning QB had chest ink of Thomas Edison driving a Corvette (or something like that), but please leave those types of tats to first-teamers, mmmk?

Finally, I believe it’s time for all Bama faithful to ditch the houndstooth caps. When Andre Smith put on the iconic hat at his commitment press conference about a decade ago, it was cool; when Joe Tide fan from Oneonta wears it to his stepdaughter’s wedding, it’s tacky. I appreciate the hat’s symbolism and respect its 15 minutes of fame, but all (not-so) good things must come to an end. It’s time to retire the Bear’s trademark to the back of the closet with the JAMZ shorts and jelly shoes.

For you Auburn fans, how about resolving to remove some of the Tiger paraphernalia from your cars? One medium-sized AU logo sticker on the back window is plenty to let us all know you root, root, root for the Tigers. We don’t need 15 bumper stickers with cute lines from Tiger Rags to know you tried to convince your wife to name your daughter Weagle.

Some fans (you know who you are) feel the need to have more Auburn magnetic emblems than miles per gallon. Turning your Rav 4 into a rolling refrigerator is a quick way to cut your coolness in half. There should be a maximum of one sticker, one flag, and maybe one tiger tail hanging from the trunk.

Another thought would be for Auburn fans to expand your Lee County vocabulary. As it stands, the Auburn dialect consists of two words: War and Eagle. When placed together, they can mean anything from “Hello” to “These pancakes are a bit dry. Would you please pass the syrup?” I understand the phrase is a tremendous part of Auburn’s tradition, but does it have to be said at the beginning and ending of every call into the local sports radio show? A sly “War Eagle” given every so often can be cool; uttering it every third sentence can turn off more people than saying “botched circumcision.”

One final fashion tip for all football fans (this one is universal): There are rules to wearing jerseys and other football related items. You must be 24 years old or younger if you are male. If you are a good-looking woman and the jersey is fitted, it’s OK up until your ability to collect Social Security. The lone exception for older males wearing jerseys is if it is a “lucky jersey” and they wear them alone in their living rooms while the game is on. It is crucial that there be no witnesses and the jerseys must be authentic. I cannot stress that enough.

Eye black, football gloves, beer-holding caps, foam hands, and letterman jackets are all big no-nos in public for adults, too. Surprisingly, crimson or orange pants work as long as they are accompanied by white or blue collared shirts, respectively.

Oh, and before I forget: Never, ever be the drunkest guy in your section of the stadium. But it is cool to sit two rows above the drunkest guy in your section of the stadium and video him with your iPhone. Right before they get arrested, those folks are hilarious.

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