Some College Sports Fans Need To Get Grip On Reality

Justin HudsonCorrespondent IFebruary 18, 2010

MIAMI - JANUARY 01:  Sean Glennon of the Virginia Tech Hokies warms up prior to the FedEx Orange Bowl against the Cincinnati Bearcats at Dolphin Stadium on January 1, 2009 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

College athletics brings out a range of emotions from fans.

One minute, you are celebrating an exhilarating victory over a heated rival and the next minute, you're staring blankly at the television screen after your team dropped a heartbreaker to an underdog.

For many fans, rooting on their favorite college basketball and football teams is a everyday commitment. With that type of emotional investment, it is often too easy to cross the line from passionate supporter to deranged lunatic.

This week, a number of Mississippi State fans crossed that line.

As you might have heard, some Bulldog fans got a hold of Kentucky center DeMarcus Cousins' cellphone number before Tuesday night's game. Cousins estimated he received hundreds of calls and texts from State fans looking to rattle him before his trip to Starkville.

Calling up an opposing player before a big game is definitely an immature thing to do, but it is the type of antics you would expect from college-aged students.

However, much like the messages received by Tim Tebow before this year's LSU gridiron matchup, many of the calls and texts Cousins received were of a threatening nature.

What made the messages even more vile, were their often racist and homophobic nature.

Aren't we in the 21st century here? Why do people still insist on such ignorance?

Fortunately, Cousins was able to take the abuse in stride and let his actions on the court do the talking. He had 19 points and a game-high 14 rebounds in an 81-75 overtime victory for the second-ranked Wildcats.

But like the leadup to the game, the actual contest itself was marred by the stupidity of a small group of fans.

After three controversial calls went Kentucky's way down the stretch, a handful of Bulldog fans pelted the court with water bottles aimed at the ref and the Kentucky bench.

I get it.

The game was a hard-fought, overtime struggle. Losing such a game is painful but why embarrass yourself and your university, especially after the events of the past week, just because you're upset because of some sporting event.

Sometimes, it's the officials and opposing players that feel the fans' wrath. Other times, fans will lash out at their own team.

According to this Washington Post article , former Virginia Tech quarterback Sean Glennon has been getting harassed on his job by disgruntled Hokie fans.

Glennon's crime? Having a "lackluster" career in which he was benched his senior year.

I guess some Hokie fans forgot he won an ACC championship as a starter; provided stability to the quarterback position after Marcus Vick was thrown off the team; and   that he gave five years of his life to their beloved school.

Instead, these "fans" want to dwell on Glennon's perceived failures in Blacksburg.

Think about that.

The guy hasn't taken a snap in about a year, and people are still bitter about his play. Even if Glennon did not meet the lofty expectation of Hokie fans who thought he could lead the team to a national title, he still does not deserve to be harassed on his job.

This pattern of fan behavior at both Mississippi State and Virginia Tech is extreme, yet it illustrates the fact that college fans often take their sports way too seriously.

No matter how frustrated you are with an outcome of a game, it gives no one the excuse to hurl projectiles on the playing surface. And while showing a little school spirit never hurt anyone, there's no place for verbally threatening college kids.


After all, it's only a game, right?