The Importance of the Fellow Fan in College Football
While the 2008 college football season has certainly been one to remember thus far, I've struggled to fully enjoy the exciting football that has taken place, much to my dismay and disbelief.
As the college football season dawned, my parents suddenly, and quite remarkably, suffered their mid-life crises simultaneously and purchased a 47" LCD high definition Vizio television.
Immediately after hooking up our new TV, I knew I was in for a great season of Florida Gators football in beautiful HD.
Sure enough, every Saturday, I was able to see each individual blade of grass as well as the stitches on each player's jersey as the Gators knocked heads with both out-of-conference and SEC foes.
Although I enjoyed the game presentation immensely, something didn't seem right about the season.
At the conclusion of each college football Saturday, I felt unfulfilled—the glass was half-empty, per se.
However, I did not discover what was bothering me until I watched the Florida-Georgia game with my cousin Daniel this past Saturday.
When Percy Harvin trotted into the end zone from 13 yards out, I turned to my right and gave Daniel a high-five.
While we shared the thrill of drawing first blood against the hated 'Dawgs, that's when it hit me.
Up to that point, the season had been both entertaining and exciting, but I had been left to witness these moments alone.
It had been just me, myself, and I.
Now, that's not a knock on my family at all. They just don't care for sports in the same obsessive way that I do and that is perfectly fine.
Yet, I had been seriously lacking in the fellow sports fan department and the trip home was refreshing for my sports soul.
While celebrating the 49-10 victory over Georgia with fellow Gators, my foray into the Bulldog state also allowed me to dole out some good ol', friendly trash talk.
I called up and visited many friends and relatives, reminding them of what had occurred in Jacksonville earlier in the day, just in case they missed it.
However, none may have been any sweeter than when I encountered my sister Claire, who had traveled down from Athens for the weekend.
Boy, did I let her have it!
Actually, to be honest, I wasn't too mean.
I only sang Orange and Blue twice and I delivered a few one-liners throughout the duration of the rest of her visit.
After I had had my fill of trash talk, I began to think about my fanaticism for college football.
Although I love the passion, the pageantry, the pride, and the spirit of college football, that's not all there is to the sport.
One of the greatest facets of college football is the shared traditions and allegiances between fans, as well as the rivalries between fans.
Without fellow fans, who would we turn to when discussing the next recruiting the class or the "bonehead" calls that our coach made last weekend?
At the same time, without rivals, we would have no reason to brave the blazing heat of September or the freezing cold of December to support our schools, rain or shine.
There is a reason why stadiums nationwide such as "the Swamp," "the Horseshoe," and "the 12th Man" hold tens of thousands of football faithful.
College football was not intended for one man, but much, much more than that.
Unfortunately, I had to learn the hard way, but now, I am better prepared for my future as a college football fan.
From now on, every opportunity that I get to watch a game with a fellow college football fan will be taken full advantage of.
So, when ESPN College Gameday starts at 10 a.m. Saturday morning, make sure you gather around other college football nuts like yourself.
If I were you, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Nothing tops watching college football with a group of passionate fans, not even a fancy HDTV.
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