There is nothing worse than watching your college football team in a big game with a neutral, apathetic crowd. Nothing. And this kid’s friends filming his National Championship reaction is perfect proof.
This is it. This is the actual physical proof of what I’ve been saying for the last two months. This is the perfect evidence to back up my statement…
There is nothing worse than watching your college football team in a big game with a neutral, apathetic crowd. Nothing. It is absolutely brutal. And it’s something that you don’t even realize until you’re experiencing live. Here, let’s start from the beginning…
Think about it… if you go to a big football school, you’ve never watched a big game with apathetic people. Every big home game you’re in the stadium. And every big away game you’re on your couch with other people from school or on the road in a hostile environment. No matter what, you’re with people that care. People who are living and dying with every play. That, more than anything, is what defines college football. And you take it for granted. It’s all you know about college football, and it become engrained in your college football watching experience. You just assume that every game you watch will have that same camaraderie that you enjoyed in college. You’ll just chant and cheer and complain and blame the refs and verbally abuse 19 year olds forever. And that feeling makes every game that much more important.
And then you graduate.
You leave school, maybe move back home or to another city. Maybe move in with roommates who didn’t go to your school. And watching games quickly transitions from “tailgating for seven hours dressed in all orange and screaming at the top of your lungs for 4 quarters and celebrating into the night” into “waking up in sweatpants at noon and watching the ESPN3 feed on your laptop because your roommates went to different schools.” And that’s fine. You’re usually content with that. After all, you can only get so into a midseason blowout.
But then a major game rolls around. A big, national TV, everyone-is-watching kind of game. And you’re fucked. You might not know it, but you’re fucked.
I didn’t figure this all out until the ACC Championship this year. I watched Clemson-Notre Dame on my phone at a wedding. I was in Death Valley for Clemson-FSU. And I watched Clemson-USC alone at my house. Not until I watched Clemson-North Carolina with a group of friends who couldn’t have cared less about the game did I realize how much it sucked. People flipping channels during commercial breaks, talking about other shit that you just don’t want to talk about, putting music on. You know, shit that people literally do all the time.
Except you’re not ready for it.
You’re back in college football mode. You’re attached to the game like you’re back in the stadium with your buddies in college, and you want no distractions. So while you’d normally be all-in on some fight over a fantasy football trade or a “who’s better” NBA comparison or singing along to Ja Rule Pandora, you couldn’t give less of a shit now.
It’s not everyone else’s fault, it’s really just your own. I mean it’s actually 100% their fault when they’re forcing you to leave the apartment and get in an Uber with 7 minutes left in the most important Clemson game ever, all for the sake of showing up at the bar thirty minutes BEFORE anyone else gets there. THAT is their fault.
But for the rest of it, it’s on you.
It’s your own fault for not realizing that people just don’t care as much as you will about your college football team. It’s such a simple concept. It seems so common sense. And anyone who didn’t go to a football school is reading this like “yeah, no shit dude.” But you don’t realize until it happens. You’re so used to spending big games wearing all orange and drinking Jack Daniels at 8am and standing and chanting for four quarters and living and dying on every play with the person next to you that it’s all just a normal part of a game. That’s college. And until that first game with kids outside your school, you don’t realize that people do not give a shit about your team.
And that’s fine. I’m not out here trying to convert people. If you don’t care, good for you. Less stress on your heart.
What this is right here is a PSA to every college kid about to graduate from a football school:
Do NOT watch your team play a major game with apathetic people. Do not do it. They don’t care like you do. They aren’t invested. They aren’t going to be screaming at the TV and throwing remotes across the room after letting up another 60 yard pass to the goddamn tight end (FUCK). They will sit there and laugh at you. They will fuck with you. They will film your antics. And they will probably make you look like an insane person all over the internet. Midseason game against Georgia Tech? Sweatpants and ESPN3. But for a major game, there are three options and three options only:
1) Go to the game. Always worth it. Going back for Clemson-FSU was the best day I’ve had since leaving college and it wasn’t even close.
2) Travel to watch with other people from your school. Did this for Clemson-Oklahoma
3) Watch it alone, even if it makes you feel like Steven Glansberg. Trust me, it’s worth it.
That is my lesson for you.
I love this kid. Love his passion. Love his heart. Love his irrational postgame threats that may have sounded a lot like what I was saying. Love it all. And I’m sorry he has some asshole friends who exploited his passion for a couple youtube views.
P.S. If we’re being honest here, I would at least get one snapchat of him. I’m all for the passion, but that’s a snapchat I’m not gonna pass up. Kid was a lunatic.
P.P.S. Watching with degenerate gamblers who bet on your team obviously negates this whole blog.
P.P.P.S. I attempted to come to grips with the loss on the National Championship Podcast last week. It’s actually a less depressing listen than I thought it would be.