bamax - Finebaum graduated from UT. Thanks for pointing out the obvious - that you have no clue what you're talking about.
For three years I lived in Columbus, Ohio. For those three years, I thought the hatred between Ohio State and Michigan was unmatched in all of sports.
I was wrong. Very wrong.
Ohio State and Michigan fans can’t stand their rivals, but they don’t constantly attempt to tear down their rivals. Big difference. Alabama and Auburn fans do. Unfortunately, that’s embarrassing for both schools — whose administrations have nothing to do with the constant attacks — and it’s bad for the Southeastern Conference as a whole. The mudslinging only makes fans outside the SEC believe that the league is the dirtiest conference in America.
By constantly flinging accusations back and forth, Tide and Tiger fans only raise the curiosity of the NCAA. And that’s not a smart thing to do considering that cheating goes on at major every college.
Boosters for every school in the country provide extra benefits for athletes. It happens. I’ve spoken to players and buddies who’ve played in the SEC, the Big Ten and the ACC. They all say it went on at their schools, in their leagues.
Alabama and Auburn players know where to find hundred dollar handshakes should they want them. Kentucky players know which restaurants provide free meals. LSU players know which car dealer gives athletes the best deals. Tennessee players know which bars will give them free admission, etc, etc, etc.
Big or small, that stuff goes on everywhere. So it’s best for the NCAA not to start snooping around your favorite school’s campus. Yet Alabama and Auburn continue to dare the NCAA to venture into the Heart of Dixie and start sleuthing.
Two months ago, we had a radio host — who happens to be an Alabama fan — make accusations across Southern radio stations that he had access to tapes proving that Cam Newton knew his father was shopping him. When push came to shove, Scott Moore provided no proof and lost his job at WZZN-FM in Huntsville.
Yesterday, we had a man who runs the Rivals site covering Auburn — which is known to be one of the most “homerific” Rivals sites in existence — claim on his site’s messageboard and on radio that an Alabama supporter has given cash, a car and promises of future cash to Bama signee Brent Calloway. Hopefully, if it turns out Jeffery Lee is making wild, false Scott Moore-like accusations, Rivals will sever ties with him.
But many fans of Alabama and Auburn live through these accusations and allegations and walk away not with a sense that things are getting out of control… oh, no. Instead, they take a mudball to the face and feel the need to commit accusation-one-upmanship.
Anyone care to bet that Auburn won’t soon be hit with another allegation emanating from somewhere inside the Yellowhammer State? It’s their turn. Some Bama homer will try to take the spotlight off of the Brent Calloway allegations by tossing new claims toward The Plains. You can start the clock on that one.
But the only thing more ridiculous than the childlike mudslinging is the fact that so many Tide and Tiger fans believe the whole world is out to get them.
For two months, we put up with Auburn fans blasting us for mentioning the Moore allegations. To hear many AU fans tell it, we were obviously a site run by Bama fans, out to get Auburn. As if a site that covers the SEC wasn’t going to mention a media member’s claims that he has explosive tapes of the Newtons. Please.
Yesterday, however, we apparently quickly shifted our stance and became big Auburn-backers. Again, if a media member goes on a radio station and claims that an SEC school has bought a recruit, that’s going to generate fan chatter and that’s going to be covered by an SEC site like ours. But don’t tell that to many Tide fans. Clearly, we’re now in cahoots — which is interesting, because personally I’ve never been in cahoots — with AuburnSports.com and we are both attempting to bring down the Alabama program.
The fact that we flip from “Alabama fans” to “Auburn fans” depending on our latest posting tells us that we must be doing pretty well on the objectivity front. It also tells us that some UA and AU fans need to start reading what we write… and not what they want to read.
Personally, I feel very sorry for the Average Joe fan in the state of Alabama. Those folks pull for their teams and take their kids to games, but they also live out their daily lives normally. I heard from many fans of both schools yesterday who said they’re sick and tired of all the nonsense surrounding the Iron Bowl rivalry. Yet those fans are given a bad name by immoderate fans who spend each and every day looking for a reason to scream, “My school is being attacked!”
Perhaps the normal fans of Auburn and Alabama — of which there are many — should slap some type of warning label on fandom within their state.
If pulling for Alabama or Auburn results in bouts of rage, feelings of paranoia, or the desire to harm rival institutions, you should stop practicing fandom. If pulling for Alabama or Auburn causes the desire to poison a tree, consult your physician immediately.
Unfortunately, to most everyone outside the state of Alabama, it appears that all fans of the Tigers and Tide are about to overdose on hate.
Here at MrSEC.com, we’ll continue to alert you if/when a media member with ties to Alabama or Auburn flings new, baseless accusations at his or her hated rival. But we suggest you take the claims as we do — with a grain of salt — until these mudslingers actually provide some proof of what they’re shoveling.