Living in the South for 20 years now (courtesy of Uncle Sam), has taught me several things.
One thing is that Southerners love their college football. That wasn't always the case where I came from, as I grew up in Colorado.
If you want to talk about die hard NFL fans, you need look no further then Denver, where I grew up. College football played second fiddle to a good Bronco game.
I think most people couldn't tell you what place in the standings the Buffalos were in. Some may not even realize they were in the Big Twelve conference. But mention John Elway, and they would talk your ear off.
I never had much interest in college ball. That all changed in 1994 when I met my future wife. She grew up in Alabama a die hard Auburn fan. At first, I was amused and even enjoyed watching the Iron Bowl with her Alabama and Auburn friends.
Believe me when I tell you, it was serious business to them. Still, I didn't get it. Give me an NFL game, and I was happy. That all changed my first visit to the plains. I had been to many NFL games, but the atmosphere for this game (LSU) is hard to explain unless you've experienced it. Tailgating, Tiger Walk, the Eagle flight.
It was as if you could slice the air with a knife. I was totally hooked after that and started buying season tickets every year.
I can say this about the passion of college fans: I believe it to be unmatched among any sports fans. It may not win me a lot of fans among NFL enthusiast, but I believe it to be the truth. I would like to see fans not speak so negatively about each other, but I suppose it's all in good fun.
There is only one negative I can find with college football: it makes me wish summer were over.