The Southeastern Conference is known for having some of the most fervid fanbases in college football, but one SEC quarterback is more worried about catching flak from his own fanbase than the opposition.
At the 2013 SEC Media Days in Hoover, Ala., Missouri quarterback James Franklin was asked which SEC program had the rudest fanbase. He definitively replied that his own Tiger fanbase was the worst:
Franklin struggled through injury and an overall disappointing season in 2012 as the Tigers fell short of bowl eligibility in their first year in the SEC.
Apparently, some Tiger fans let Franklin know how they felt about his performance last year and weren't exactly kind in doing so.
After his comments at the SEC Media Days, the Mizzou fans took to Twitter to react. As expected, many were angered even further, but there were also a number of fans who actually agreed with their quarterback.
RE: James Franklin's comments about Mizzou fans - is he wrong? Nope.— Ben Yarrington (@benyarrington) July 16, 2013
Can't say I blame James Franklin for saying Mizzou fans are the rudest. Some of the stuff he heard last was absolutely vicious.— Ian Frazer (@ianmcfrazer) July 16, 2013
Of course, every fanbase has its share of venomous constituents and the Tigers are no different. So the truth behind Franklin's statement isn't shocking.
In this case, Franklin actually exposing the rudeness of his fanbase in front of reporters with recorders came as a surprise.
As a college football player—and particularly as the starting quarterback—dealing with negative fans comes with the territory.
Sounding off to the media isn't the way to deal with those fans.
If Franklin wants to win the favor of the Mizzou faithful, there is only one thing he can do: win football games.
The Tigers signal-caller will undoubtedly take even more vitriol after his statement in Hoover and put even more pressure on himself to win this fall.
It is going to be a long summer for Franklin, but if the Tigers can improve in SEC play in 2013 and make it back to a bowl game, this will all be forgotten.
For now, though, Franklin may have just made the "rudest" fanbase in the SEC even ruder.