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Ex-College Footballer: ‘Fans, Go To Hell’

Reader Surly T. sends this letter an anonymous former Oregon Ducks player sent to an Oregonian sports columnist [1] about how going to a Ducks game for the first time as a fan, not as a player, shocked and disgusted him. Excerpt:

Not too long after, a woman a couple seats down yelled for 10 minutes straight about how the players were playing like “(expletive)”. The coaches were being “(expletive)“. The refs were being “(expletive)“. All during the time I was telling my friend how embarrassing it was to have her on our side. And then I started hearing laughter from the surrounding crowd and encouragement of that behavior. Is this really what goes on in the stands? Is this really the type of people we attract???

I remember walking in from fall camp practice and talking to my teammates about how similar our lives were to the TV series Spartacus. We were slaves. We were paid enough to live, eat, and train… And nothing more. We went out on the field where we were broken down physically and mentally every day, only to wake up and do it again on the next. On the outside, spectators placed bets and objectified us. They put us on pedestals and worshipped us for a short time, but only as long as we were winning. In the end, we were just a bunch of dumbass (racial slur) for the owners to whip, and the rich to bet on.

What I described is a business, I know. It’s how it works, and it is something we understand as athletes entering the system, as (expletive) up as it is. For many people entering that system, it’s better than what life has to offer elsewhere. So they take it. But having been on the outside now, to witness this disgusting display of “support”, I know that I want no (expletive) part of it. I will never attend a duck game as a spectator again. I am disgusted by duck fans and I will sit back and observe from afar with high hopes for the player’s success and understanding of their sacrifice, without having to hear the spoiled woes of ignorant fans.

Does this match your experience of game-going? Nebraska fans are legendarily kind and generous. What about other fans?

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45 Comments To "Ex-College Footballer: ‘Fans, Go To Hell’"

#1 Comment By Betsie Freeman On October 30, 2013 @ 2:03 pm

Thanks for the nod to fans of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, my alma mater. I’ve taken outsiders to home games and they’re amazed when the opposing team gets a standing ovation as it exits the field following the game. There are, of course, a few jerks, but perhaps not as many as elsewhere. When I got married and was introduced to the SEC, it was culture shock. (Before you slam me, SEC faithful, I want to say there are LOTS of fine SEC fans and I now am as big an LSU supporter as my husband.)

#2 Comment By Mr. Patrick On October 30, 2013 @ 2:03 pm

Jefferson warned us of the morally corrosive effects of ball games, and advised us to walk in the woods with guns for exercise. He was on to something.

#3 Comment By Aegis On October 30, 2013 @ 2:07 pm

As an Oregonian–a U of O alum, no less–I definitely feel like Ducks football has become less “fun” than it was even just a few years ago. Some of it is probably a matter of success (not to mention Nike money) causing folks to take things too seriously–we’ve had good teams in the past, but it feels like the prospect of a national championship has brought out the worst in people–but I am not sure that explains all of it.

#4 Comment By Michael D On October 30, 2013 @ 2:09 pm

My experience (LSU fan) is that in a crowd of fans, there’s one person like the woman in the letter. But everyone else in the section doesn’t like that fan; honestly the laughter he heard was probably people laughing “at” her, not appreciative laughter.

My guess is that it’s also worse at place like Oregon where the team has been successful for a number of years. That success brings the price of entitled fans like that woman who are never pleased with a win and disproportionately outraged by a loss.

#5 Comment By EngineerScotty On October 30, 2013 @ 2:12 pm

Obviously, the Duck players need to [2], to help them mellow out a bit. But that’s what happens, I guess, when a sports-mad billionaire buys a football factory–some of the folks in the stands start to feel a bit entitled…

Of course, I’m an OSU alum, so my opinions on the subject can hardly be described as unbiased. But rest assured, if the Ducks make the NCG, I’ll be eagerly (if not holding-my-nose-ly) rooting for their SEC opponent. 🙂

#6 Comment By mrscracker On October 30, 2013 @ 2:13 pm

I’ve been a FL Gators fan, but Gator fans are notoriously obnoxious.FSU & GA Tech fans, not so much.
Sometimes the better teams have the worst fans.

#7 Comment By Michael Towns On October 30, 2013 @ 2:23 pm

Long-time Florida State fan and graduate here. Have attended many games at Doak Campbell stadium when Florida State was top-ranked (and not so top ranked), and I can honestly say that I never heard FSU fans acting this way.

#8 Comment By Formerly Other Matt On October 30, 2013 @ 2:29 pm

Northwestern football has given me my roots, so things like this hit close to home.

My wife and I encountered the same feelings of disillusionment after graduation, when we moved from marching band (a bubble of spirit and positivity) into the general population. But, the disappointing behavior we encounter is more along the lines of sexist/condescending dynamics in couples or families, a deep-seated self-hate in Boomer fans born of the Dark Ages (when the team set the NCAA record for consecutive losses in the 1980’s), and sometimes just rank stupidity. Occasionally self-hate or the bloviating need for a MAN to prove he’s a MAN blows up into criticism of the type mentioned above. Most of the time, fan attitude demonstrates itself in lack of attendance, late arrival, and early departure.

Opposing fanbases can be pretty nasty. We were just up in Madison a few weeks ago; more pathetic than the swarms of trashed frat boys were the majority of middle-aged fans cheering them on.

Don’t get me started on Nebraska fans. They’re so nice they’ll prattle on about it until they’re blue in the face. It screams of ‘Hey everyone, come see how good I look!’ In practice, when they come into town they just wander around, self-entitled, like no one else is there /cityboy

Re: the Spartacus bit…treating student-athletes like this does not have to be the rule. NU athletic scholarships provide real value- $250k in free top-tier education. This education is used. The football program is consistently top in the country in graduation rate and APR. Because NU is a smaller school, and through band, many of my friends and I have had personal contact with players; they’re good people and very, very competitive in the classroom.

#9 Comment By KC On October 30, 2013 @ 2:31 pm

I think entitlement explains some of it. People feel players are lionized & well compensated so they “deserve” whatever’s dished out. Excessive alcohol explains some of it too.

People also feel entitled because the price of tickets keeps going up-they think they’ve paid for the “privilege” of harassing.

1 loud mouthed jerk can ruin the experience for the group. When I went to games as a child, I wasn’t as exposed. Games were supposed to be a “family” outing. If I had brought my children to the game described, I would leave & not come back.

I’ve also observed heckling at speeches & stand up comics become cruder, crueler & over the line. Blog comments that are abusive & nasty are common. {Thank you for policing that here.]

We are becoming a coarser society & tolerating things we didn’t used to stomach.

#10 Comment By W.E.B. Dupree On October 30, 2013 @ 2:32 pm

I’ve never been to a game at Autzen Stadium (U. of Oregon), but I’ve been going to USC games for several years here in L.A. (starting back when the games were still pretty crowded, unlike this season’s half-full Coliseum). I’ve never had an experience as bad as the one described, which sounded more like the stories you hear about NFL stadiums.

There are plenty of drunk fans, and you hear people shouting their opinions about failed plays, etc. (in USC’s case, that included a lot of boos for Lane Kiffin during the first several games this season), but I don’t usually notice that much profanity or nastiness. No one has ever threatened me.

Most of the people in my section are either visiting fans (who, being outnumbered, generally behave themselves) or middle-aged suburbanites with jobs, kids, etc. Very, very seldom do I see a fan removed by security.

IIRC, Autzen is known as one of the loudest stadiums anywhere, and they encourage extreme volume. Maybe some fans take that as a license to scream whatever foul thing crosses their minds.

#11 Comment By Aegis On October 30, 2013 @ 2:36 pm

What Engineerscotty said about a sports-mad billionaire buying a football factory isn’t just him being glib, by the way–that is pretty much what has happened at U of O.

#12 Comment By Grumpy Old Man On October 30, 2013 @ 2:40 pm

I have always thought the NCAA was a monopoly and should be broken up under the anti-trust laws. I guess they get some kind of “educational” bye.

At least the big schools with TV contracts should pay the players and give them Workers’ Comp. for the inevitable injuries.

#13 Comment By FN On October 30, 2013 @ 2:42 pm

So there was no throwing of objects onto the pitch, no brawl, no police, no bleeding noses or missing teeth? Sounds civilized enough to a European soccer fan.

#14 Comment By Michael Guarino On October 30, 2013 @ 2:56 pm

I went to UNC, where football is not so important. My observation was that students were typically fairly well-behaved, just generally spirited save a few drunk sorority girls. A lot of the students like to maintain some Southern gentility, so they will go to the game in a blazer and bow-tie, which I always kind of liked. It was the alumni trying to relive the glory days that were the most obnoxious. I cannot speak for SEC or Big 10 schools that have a far more passionate football culture.

Also, there are a lot of fans of the school who never actually attended that tend to be really insufferable, especially with basketball where the fan base is massive. I think it is a sort of new convert syndrome. Or there might have been a reason they were not admitted in the first place.

The gladiatorial element to sports is definitely very real, and part of the reason why I find it quite odd that so many colleges established spectator sports. It just seems like a distraction from serious study and academic culture which is antithetical to the hot-bloodedness of the arena, but I guess everyone “knows” college is no longer about learning these days.

#15 Comment By Fred On October 30, 2013 @ 2:56 pm

A few years ago, my wife and I begged LSU for different seats in Tiger Stadium. A man sitting (with his pre-teen son) about five rows behind us would SCREAM expletives at the referees, players and coaches when he didn’t like what play was called or somebody made a mistake. He never used the n-word, but there were f-bombs, mother f-bombs, sh*ts, and g-damns aplenty. Thankfully we are sitting elsewhere now, and everyone around us is a pleasure to be around.

Oh, and I hear plenty of n-words wandering around the tailgates after the liquor has been flowing for a few hours. It reaches its apex in late October/early November during election years.

#16 Comment By thomas tucker On October 30, 2013 @ 2:57 pm

It was similar to this at University of Texas football games, and the students were drunker than Cooter Brown at 10am in the morning! I have to say, though, that I have not seen this type of behavior at multipke Seahawks games, wehre the fans are loud but not violent or nasty.

#17 Comment By texasaggiemom On October 30, 2013 @ 3:18 pm

Of course, I’m biased about my alma mater, but Aggies are known for their hospitality AND for their love of all things football. There’s always a jerk in every crowd, but they aren’t cheered on at A&M–they’re usually yelled at. This article written by an Auburn fan is a testimonial to the way I’ve seen visitors to Kyle Field treated.
[3]

#18 Comment By EngineerScotty On October 30, 2013 @ 3:31 pm

Of interesting to note, for Pac-12 fans, is that Autzen Stadium is actually named for an Oregon State grad (lumberman Thomas Autzen, whose son attended Oregon). Of course, OSU’s library is named after an Oregon grad (former Oakland Raiders owner F. Wayne Valley, who played football for OSU–then Oregon State College–but was forced to transfer to the U of O when OSC’s economics department was shuttered during the Great Depression).

#19 Comment By Jim On October 30, 2013 @ 3:37 pm

Meh. Sounds like kind of a drama king to me. Yes, there are morons out there, and yes, some of them are sports fans, and yes, some of them drink too much and say obnoxious, abusive things. And sometimes those around them find them humorous objects at which to laugh and sometimes to goad into providing more fodder for laughter.

Anyone who has gone to many sporting events has had similar situations occur, I’m sure.

It’s hardly follows from that unfortunate fan experience that Division I scholarship athletes are the modern day equivalent of slaves, as the former Duck intimates. Last I checked, slavery didn’t result in a marketable credential that other paid actual cash to obtain at the end of the tunnel. Indeed, there was no end to the tunnel.

#20 Comment By RadicalCenter On October 30, 2013 @ 3:40 pm

Want to an Ohio state buckeyes game while living in OH about 9 years ago, and there was plenty of disgusting vulgarity among men and women there, both college age and older. Undermined the enjoyment of the day.

I didn’t have kids back then. Now we do, and I won’t leave the game but rather get security and get in the face of anyone talking like that in front of my wife and kids. That’s what more of us need to do. Humiliate people like that and demand that they be ejected, and keep demanding it.

#21 Comment By Sean Scallon On October 30, 2013 @ 3:44 pm

If this former U of O player thinks he was a slave for four years may I suggest he compare his experience to the movie Twelve Years a Slave and then decide for himself if he had it so bad. If he was a slave, then he was a slave who got $100,000 education which he doesn’t have to pay a cent for plus the use of facilities on Oregon campus which exceed many NFL clubs in their amenities. It is because of this that slavery talk really does get tiresome. Yes the players deserve more than what they’re getting right now, considering the money they make for the school, but remember it’s the fans’ money who buy the tickets, the merchandise, the luxury boxes and so forth which are all plowed back into the program itself so that tuition isn’t used for athletic budgets. Would this player have felt better, more pure if he played in front of an empty Autzen Stadium and nobody cared what they did on Saturdays? I don’t think so. He was never in chains and no one put a gun to his head. If a college scholarship was better than most athletes would have ever seen in their lives, how does taking away those opportunities make situation better? He has a right to be upset with boorish fans. I would never boo a college player nor should others do so. Yet if he thinks the fans of today are bad, he should have witnessed the acutal gladiator spectacles of Spartacus to see the depth of human cruelty. He does not know what he is talking about.

#22 Comment By Sam M On October 30, 2013 @ 3:49 pm

Isn’t this the way of the world? Any time you encourage people to like something, and they actually like it, some people are going to take it too far. Dog shows are no different. Cable TV informs me that plenty of parents take dance and cheerleading to ridiculous extremes. Some people become insufferable about the thread count of their sheets and the tannin levels in their wine.

The fact that he’s surprised that some people go to these extremes about college football strikes me as bizarre.

I have heard in the past that Division III sports are the best. But I read more recently that Division III football has become just as much of a sham as Division I.

#23 Comment By StringThemUp On October 30, 2013 @ 3:59 pm

The greater issue is around paying the players. The Atlantic had a great article about this a few years ago.

#24 Comment By Lord Karth On October 30, 2013 @ 5:19 pm

“Games” such as this are simply unnecessary celebrations of frivolity and useless efforts better devoted to “work, worship or warfare” (pace Theodore Judson).

Better that this young “Mr. Anonymous” devote his time, effort and energy towards his God, his family and his proper work; he may one day become a man of solid attainments and a credit to his family, House and Line—or at least not a disgrace, as he is now.

As to “fans” (short for “fanatics”, let’s remember) like the obnoxious creature depicted in the article, better to deal with them by an arrest, an appearance in front of a judge, and perhaps a night in jail. Or a few dozen hours of community service. While she sweeps the streets, she can wear a placard around her neck: “I was a public drunken boor. This is what happens to public boors.”

A few dozen such convictions, posted on the Web and on said convicts’ personal Facebook pages, would go a long, long way towards discouraging this sort of behavior.

Your servant,

Lord Karth

#25 Comment By Pedro On October 30, 2013 @ 5:20 pm

I actually had a similar experience at a HS game here in the Virginia suburbs of D.C. By way of background, I played HS football, coached youth football, have been around the game forever and have a pretty good eye for what’s going on on the field.

Anyhow, I was at TC Williams HS (of “Remember the Titans” fame) sitting on the visitors’ side (the visiting team is one of the top-rated teams in the DC area this year). There was an altercation in which the visiting team, which was destroying TC Williams, scored, and the QB started taunting a TC player, who then shoved him, surely in frustration. Although the refs called offsetting penalties, I heard a bunch of adults around me calling the TC player (who was black) a “thug” and saying “kick him out of the game” and hurling other less savory and more profane insults. I’m thinking, here’s this HS kid, who’s frustrated that his team is getting the snot kicked out of it and he understandably reacts to being taunted by a D-1 prospect QB who’s showboating right in his face, but these adults act like he’s some kind of cretin and feel that it’s entirely appropriate to hurl vulgar insults. At some level I (sort of) get it if you want to pay a couple hundred bucks to go to a pro football game and scream at grown men getting paid to play, but for crying out loud, these are high school kids.

I think it must have something to do with the fans’ inability to identify with the players (particularly the middle aged male fans who look like they’ve never broken a sweat in their life). This, to me, is the biggest problem with spectator sports. The players sweat, fight, and compete, and these slobs sitting on their behinds slurping down nachos and hot dogs feel entitled to denigrate them. That attitude, I take it, is what the Oregon player is objecting to, and I can completely understand his point.

All of that said, I do think most fans, particularly HS and college fans, are genial and respect what the players do. But the overall atmosphere can be poisoned by a couple of loudmouthed louts, unfortunately.

#26 Comment By BasilNova On October 30, 2013 @ 5:45 pm

There is a lot of mythology surrounding Nebraska football fan. I suppose much of it is based in truth. They wear their kindness like a medal. There is a dark side underneath the myth, though. Just this past week, the Cornhuskers lost to the “lowly” Golden Gophers of Minnesota. The deranged hatred directed toward Nebraska’s coaching staff, particularly head coach Bo Pelini has been rather hard to take. Here’s a coach who has averaged 9 wins per season, yet the mythical good and decent NE fans are calling for his head. Husker football is a false idol, here in Nebraska. And when the idol stops serving the masses, the masses get angry.

#27 Comment By Charles Cosimano On October 30, 2013 @ 5:52 pm

I have always viewed sports fans as a rather noxious variety of sub-human, attempting to identify with the winners that they would never be. So I’m not surprised at all.

#28 Comment By Turmarion On October 30, 2013 @ 6:01 pm

IMO, collegiate sports (with a few exceptions) are irremediably corrupt and should be banned. In practically [4], the highest-paid public employee is a sports coach, usually football or basketball. Contrary to defenses of collegiate sports, most programs don’t make enough revenue to cover themselves, let alone to bring in money for education, and even some self-supporting programs [5].

Meanwhile, tuition goes higher and higher, more and more young people are priced out of college or graduate with enormous student debt; and colleges and universities increasingly hire adjuncts who are given no benefits and no job security.

I went to an SEC school (so longtime readers can figure out what it was with little trouble) and while it was bad then (in the 80’s) it’s become pathological over the last thirty years. Not even so much bad fan behavior–back then, it wasn’t like what was described above (I’ve not actually attended a game since about 1986). It’s the absolute obsession so many people have for the home team.

I’ve known people who had their office at work or whole rooms at home decorated only with the state university memorabilia. Interestingly, the ones who do so tend to have never gone to college themselves. Workplace conversation revolves almost exclusively around the team during the season, and there is an attitude among many that it’s not enough to win each game, but to crush the opposition totally. Any season that doesn’t see a trip to the NCAA stirs calls for a new coach. God forbid anyone should worry about education, the purported raison d’être of universities and colleges to begin with.

#29 Comment By Mike W On October 30, 2013 @ 6:45 pm

I think it depends where you sit. We took our kids to WSU football games in Pullman and had great time. Nothing prettier than the Fall in the Palouse country and the vibe was just fine. Last year we watched the Ducks cream the Cougs in Seattle and again, we had a nice time. Again, we weren’t sitting in the student section. The most disconcerting problem with the game in Seattle was the overweight/smelly guy sitting next to my wife. I did the nice husband thing and switched places with her. Surely everyone has noticed how everyone is becoming more aggressive. It isn’t just in some sections at football games. You see it on TV, online, commuting, in our politics,and so on. At the first sign of conflict, people start throwing “Ef” bombs, questions your parentage, the size of your you now what, etc. I think part of the reason why they do it is because in many ways, we live in a consequence free world (reminds me of the song by great Newfoundland band, “Great Big Sea”). Despite all of our political correctness, people get away saying, writing and doing the most outrageous kinds of things nowadays. Stuff that would have earned a punch in the nose or worse way back when.

#30 Comment By Mike W On October 30, 2013 @ 6:53 pm

And here’s the link to the song, “Consequence Free” by Great Big Sea: [6]

#31 Comment By Sam M On October 30, 2013 @ 6:58 pm

“We are becoming a coarser society & tolerating things we didn’t used to stomach.”

Wait. You are going to use the state of spectator sports to show how the culture has become worse? Seriously?

#32 Comment By B.E. Ward On October 30, 2013 @ 7:16 pm

I’m a bit concerned that we as a country take college football so seriously. These are technically amateurs, supposedly kids who attend college and happen to play for the football team on fall weekends.

That it’s gotten to questionable recruiting practices, chartered aircraft, lucrative sponsorships, and billions in wagers is just obscene.

#33 Comment By Aroldis Votto On October 30, 2013 @ 7:36 pm

Agree with radicalcenter about Ohio State. I grew up worshipping the Buckeyes and could name all the offensive starters on the 1968 national champs, and most of the defense.

Went to OSU for grad school, and took my (then new) wife to a game to introduce her to the total experience, c. 1988. Good game, Buckeyes won but Boston College made a determined late comeback.

What happened next opened my eyes. We had sat in a corner of the temporary stands at the open end of the horseshoe. The Eagles had to leave the field by going between the temporary stands and the end of the horseshoe, and we couldn’t leave until they were all past the several hundred drunk and belligerent fans we were in the midst of. The language! Foul and personal, directed right at the BC players. It was embarrassing, especially since BC had played tough and honorably. Never again.

I’m glad Ohio State wins and all, but maybe OSU needs less a university to make the football team proud than a decent set of fans.

#34 Comment By Loudon is a Fool On October 30, 2013 @ 7:52 pm

Of course, I’m biased about my alma mater, but Aggies are known for their hospitality AND for their love of all things football.

At the last A&M game I attended a drunk Nebraska student ran out on the field after the Cornhuskers had solidly spanked the Aggies. Some guy from the Corp punched him in the fact and laid him out. It seemed very hospitable.

#35 Comment By Loudon is a Fool On October 30, 2013 @ 7:56 pm

punched him in the fact

That should be face. Not even an Aggie would mess with another man’s fact.

#36 Comment By naturalmom On October 30, 2013 @ 10:21 pm

I’ve only been to 4 or 5 Michigan State University football games, so my sample size is small, but what I’ve observed is that most fans are enthusiastic but respectful. There is usually someone being kind of a jerk within earshot, but instead of encouragement, these people usually get glares. (Not that the glares stop them, because they are jerks, a fact which their behavior has already established.) I have not heard as bad as described in the post above, but I’m sure those folks exist. I’ve just never sat near enough one to hear it. The biggest beef I have with the fans as a whole is the booing. I really think that’s poor sportsmanship, but it seems to be pretty generally accepted in many circumstances these days. 🙁

#37 Comment By Lord Karth On October 30, 2013 @ 10:37 pm

Loudon is a Fool writes: “punched him in the fact

That should be face. Not even an Aggie would mess with another man’s fact.”

For that, of course, we have politicians.

Your servant,

Lord Karth

#38 Comment By Alan Breedlove On October 30, 2013 @ 10:46 pm

I agree with Jim. “Meh.” The anonymous author of the piece paints himself as a victim in every scenario. A good reminder to count one’s blessings.

#39 Comment By William Dalton On October 30, 2013 @ 11:00 pm

Michael Guarino:

Class of ’75 here, and UNC Law ’78. I’m glad to hear that Carolina men are emulating the better habits of their rivals at Mr. Jefferson’s university, if not their self-conceit. But as to obnoxious alumni trying to relive the “glory days” of UNC football, I’m scratching my head trying to figure out what days you are talking about. As old as I am I can’t remember the days of Andy Griffith cheering on Choo Choo Justice and going on to profit from the experience.

Yes, in my days we were tutored in such refined cheers as our first down chant,

“Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh!
Come on, Heels, do it again!”

Or, when nearing the goal line,

“We like liquor, and cold duck,
But most of all we like to …

SCORE!!”

It’s been some years since I was back, but I think I’ll try to make it over for the UVA game this year.

“There’ll be a Carolina victory, across the fields where old have fled … “

#40 Comment By texasaggiemom On October 30, 2013 @ 11:36 pm

Nope, we wouldn’t mess with his facts. Sorry to hear that happened. Back in the day, spectators weren’t allowed on the field after a game. (I think that’s changed.). Sounds like one of the cadets was a little over zealous protecting the field. Really inexcusable, though.

#41 Comment By PaulPfaff On October 31, 2013 @ 12:22 am

I have followed UCLA football for 20 years and attended at least one away game every year, incuding Oregon. By far the classiest fans were at Nebraska, followed by Notre Dame, Michigan & Alabama. There is a large group of schools with mostly considerate fans and a few bad apples … Washington, Texas, u of Houston, UCLA, BYU, Colorado, and Oregon. There were some places where the culture of the fans was primarily rude and inhospitable to opposing fans and to their own team when not playing well: ASU, OKlahoma, and the worst, Univeristy of Arizona.

These are anecdotal, of course, but experienced by a group of 10-15 family members decked out in blue & gold for the weekend at the airport & restaurants, tailgating, game, and post game. We’ve become very aware of the attitude of opposing territory. Some schools just have a culture that is friendly & welcoming and celebrating the gamesmanship, and others clearly do not.

#42 Comment By Al-Dhariyat On October 31, 2013 @ 8:01 am

Anecdotal evidence should be taken with a grain of salt as always. Mine is based on having been a Pitt season ticket holder for 15 years and having gone to games at Pennstate, Michigan, South Carolina, UVA, Va Tech and Texas. I would say CFB is a much more hospitable, courteous environment than the NFL.

Yes, Nebraska fans have that well-worn rep for courtesy. Then again, it’s easy to be polite and courteous when your team is one of the true blue-bloods of college football (ie, win a lot!). Oh I kid, I kid (I think).

#43 Comment By Pete S On October 31, 2013 @ 10:32 am

I attended my first college game last season – at Penn State. I was sitting in a section mixed almost equally between fans of both teams that day and the atmosphere was tremendous. Obviously each group was cheering for their chosen team, but we were all enjoying a nice fall afternoon watching a great sport. And the parties outside the stadium before and after the game were the same.
I could not get over the difference between that and games for the local NFL team (Buffalo). Anger, overwhelming bad language, drunkenness and multiple fights have been common every time I have gone.
And yes this is just another anecdote – a friend of mine who is a graduate and enthusiastic fan of Michigan. He has been to one road game every year for the past 15 and says the welcome at Nebraska for opposing fans is better than everywhere else.

#44 Comment By Bugg On October 31, 2013 @ 12:56 pm

Been to a football game at Notre Dame and numerous college basketball games at various venues. The college fans are frankly way tamer than anyone at an NBA, NFL, MLB or NHL game.In fact the visiting fans from Purdue were actaully treated very well.Certainly better than Sawx fans get treated in the Bronx.I was at the deciding game of the 2003 ALCS (the Brett Boone game) and afterward we shook hands with the Sawx fans sitting next to us and wished them well(but not that well!). Even in those instances most of the more obnxious behavior had more to do with idiots being overserved than the game itself. And no pro team is giving up beer sales any time soon.
Problem I have with athletes like this one is he didn’t get “nothing” and he is not a slave. He gets the chance to get an education which costs the rest of us a lot of money.Oregon and other major colleges will even allow him to take courses well after 4 years and beyond at no cost to him in order to get a degree.Whether he avails himself of this opportunity is up to him.And he should, because the odds he ever cashes an NFL check are very very long. The rest of us are scrimping and saving in order to pay for our children to have anything close to this experience. Further as a football player at at PAC 10 school he is part of an elite that gets pretty much anything and everything(room, board, meals, training) a college student could want. Why is he even paying attention to yahoos like this?

#45 Comment By naturalmom On November 1, 2013 @ 9:47 am

Regarding this player’s eye-opening experience after he was done playing: Maybe high school recruits should try to attend a game as a normal spectator (not a guest of the program) at the schools who are offering them scholarships before they make a final commitment. I’m sure this is not always possible, but if a player cares about the caliber of his fans, it wouldn’t be a bad idea.