Just a random bunch of little shit that kind of irked me this morning...
-First I check out some blogs and stumble across this. I used to read Shanoff all the time, especially the Daily Quickie which was one of the coolest things on espn.com back when Page 2 wasn't the queerest thing on the internet (yes, gay porn sites included). I always hated the fact that he bashed OSU at every opportunity, especially since he came off so biased and such a homer. Then I read this article...THAT'S YOUR REASON FOR BEING A GATOR FAN?!?!?!
Listen, I have no problem with whatever reason you have to root for a certain team. I choose geography with the exception of Ohio State. College is where shit gets tricky. Some regions, like the Northeast especially in New York and Boston areas, could care less about college football, polar opposites to the South where that's the only game in town. I'm an Ohio State fan because my dad was an Ohio State fan even from his days back in Rochester, New York. He was the one who watched OSU games with me when I was young and ever since then, I've always loved Scarlet and Gray. It also helps that the colleges I went to (and still go to because construda seriously puts a damper on your graduation plans) either didn't have a football team, or the team was an absolute joke and I already had my allegiances before moving.
However, if the sole reason you're a fan of a school is because of a significant other? You've crossed all boundaries of being a fan in general. Shanoff went to Northwestern during the "glory days" of their football program (i.e. the every 20 years or so when Michigan and Ohio State both are rebuilding and some other team gets lucky) yet he jumps onto another fan base...I mean this is innocent enough, the problem lies in the fact that he slobs Florida like he's been a fan for years.
It's my opinion, that real fandom isn't born overnight. Zealous support nonewithstanding, how can you honestly bear all allegiance to a team that you've been a fan of...since 2001? I wasn't the OSU, Browns, Cavs, Indians fan I am today back in 2001. You have to suffer and live with your team to have a true bond with them. What hurts more, going out with some chick for a few months and getting dumped or having the same thing happen after a 10 year relationship? What feels better, going to some vacation place with the same chick you've known for a few months or going on your honeymoon? My point is this: how can you express such fervor over a certain school's sports programs when you've been a fan for such a short amount of time? You haven't experienced the ups-and-downs of true allegiance, you haven't experienced sticking with your team through the hardest of times. Fuck dude, the hardest shit you went through was the Zook era, when 8-3 wasn't good enough.
Shanoff was a douche before, and now he's off the charts. I've lived through the Cooper years where OSU would storm through the rest of the schedule, only to fucking always lose to Michigan. Do you have any idea what that's like Shanoff? Did you grow up hating Georgia and Tennessee? Do you have an indescribable hatred towards a certain fan base that you've supported since 2001? You do not. You can't just jump on a bandwagon and join in a rivalry. These things are born and learned through years of support, something that you have no idea about. You don't know what the Tennessee or Georgia rivalries are like because you don't really know what it's like to attach yourself full-throttle to one team no matter the consequences. Hell, you can just say fuck it and start over with a new school. 6 years does not support make, 6 years is a front-runner rooting for a team because of an insignificant reason, almost completely arbitrary.
Granted, these are just my opinions, but I feel strongly attached to the notion of loyalty in sports. If you know what being a Cleveland sports fan is like, you realize that we're the most loyal fan base in sports, we stick by our teams no matter what. Every year before Browns season starts, I always think to myself, "I know this year is going to end badly again, why do I get my hopes up? I lived in Dallas for 2 years and like the Cowboys, I could easily root for them." But, as the preseason rolls on, I get the fever. There is no other choice. Sports teams are like less significant children. Some children are successful and make you proud, some children develop drug habits and steal your jewlery. The measure of a loyal parent is, if your child is stealing your watch to buy some powder for his nose, do you still wish the best for him? After the first few times, do you still try and help him? Or do you just shut the door and tell him never to come back and never think about him again?
That's what being a sports fan is. No matter how bad shit gets, you always support your child, always want him to succeed and eventually make you proud. It's not the success that builds character, it's how you deal with the multitude of seasons where there isn't a parade at the end. Where you sit at home after a Game 7 ALCS loss and think to yourself, "was this all worth it?" When you stay up until 2 in the morning watching an NBA Finals game that you know damn well your team has no chance of winning, yet you hold out hope. When you watch your team getting spanked, you don't change the channel. This mindset is not born overnight, you can't just flick a switch or put your hopes in a basket and say, "this is who I root for now." You don't feel bad if a team you've rooted for for 6 years doesn't succeed. But what if that team is the team you've supported for your entire life? The only team you know and the only team you care about? The team that, even when they lose, there's not even a glimmer of doubt about where you stand. Where, you refuse to root for your rival in the next stage of the playoffs because they still represent everything wrong with sports and your team represents everything right.
Basically, Shanoff, you do a great job and I read your shit every day, but you come off as a helpless homer. Even Orson at EDSBS, a true Gator fan, isn't as relentlessly biased as you are. That's why you're not a real fan, no matter how many times you call Reggie Nelson the greatest defensive player you've ever seen or the Florida Basketball team as the greatest team ever. No amount of hyperbole could ever make up for the fact that you're masquerading as an outcast in Gator clothing. Maybe if you experienced the downs, you'd realize what it's like to truly support a team.
-Second, screw Boston. My thoughts on their fanbase nonewithstanding, I'd love nothing more for BC and OSU to run out. I was rooting for VT last night because I didn't want to hear the cavalcade of bullshit coming from our less educated brothers from the South bitching and whining about strength of schedule and quality wins. BTW, Shanoff, you couldn't be more wrong about BC being no. 1 over OSU. Check out the margin of victory for OSU's schedule, then check out the differences in offensive and defensive output by our opponents. That's a no. 1 team. You have NO DOUBT OSU rolled in every game they played. It's not a coincindence that these teams all play their worst games of the season against the Bucks.
Anyways, I hope BC and OSU go for the Natl. Championship game. Why? Because first off, it'd really piss off the entire SEC, which would be awesome. No matter how much you bitch and moan, you wouldn't be included. Second, OSU would beat BC like a red-headed stepchild, a painful, brutal asswhooping the likes of which haven't been seen since 2006. Third, it would give me some sort of spiritual redemption over those assholes who can't pronounce anything that ends in -er or -ar.
-Third, Mel Kiper on Mike & Mike said that the Heisman is a 2 horse race: Tebow vs. Ryan. Where's Andre Woodson? He's better than both of those guys. And Ryan? Sure he's ok, but there's no way in hell that he should be mentioned as a Heisman frontrunner. That just shows how crazy a year it's been for college football. The rich will stay rich, but if we've learned anything, it's that the 85 scholarship limit has made the talent pool pretty equal across the board. Sure the rich will stay up top, but every year, there will be some smaller school who puts up a ridiculous season and finds themselves smack dab in the BCS picture.
I've gone on long enough, if you made it this far, congrats, you don't have ADD.