Distillation & Distribution takes the day off, but not to watch practice

The daily links will be back tomorrow. Today, I had to comment on this.

SMQ wrote today that he doesn't have anything to say about Alabama's record-shattering, apocalypse-signifying 92,000+ crowd at Saturday's spring scrimmage. Well, I do, but first I'll quote Darren Epps of the Chattanooga Times-Free Press:

One of the best SEC football arguments is among fans from different regions arguing why their school is the most passionate.

It's a great argument because there's no winner. Almost every SEC school boasts tradition, huge attendance figures and exuberant tailgaters who arrive on Wednesday for a Saturday game. There's no statistic to anoint one school definitively the most passionate about football.

Well, until this one: 92,138.

The argument is over. There were 92,138 Alabama fans packed into Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday for a televised spring game, and officials had to turn people away in the second quarter.


92K at a scrimmage might make a fan base a lot of things (crazy was the first to come to mind for me), but "most passionate"? I don't know. For one, admission to the game was free, so it's not like the Tide nation had to sell a kidney on the black market to attend (now that would be passion). Also, from what I saw on TV, it looked like a beautiful day in Tuscaloosa (if there is such a thing), so why not sit outside and watch some football? To answer my own question: because I'm not sitting in traffic for two hours to watch football practice. Mr. Epps?
Yes, admission was free. Yes, it was a beautiful day in Tuscaloosa. But 92,138? Only six schools in the entire country averaged more fans in real games last year. I would not be surprised to hear that 10,000 more fans crammed into Coleman Coliseum to watch the game on a big screen.
Well, that's just lame. Even ridiculous. They should get a life.
Now if you're not an Alabama fan, you might call such a display lame or ridiculous. You might tell Alabama fans to get a life. But almost every fan at every SEC school would be boasting all summer if 92,138 attended their spring game.
Honestly, that one makes me think. It turns out that before Saturday, Tennessee had the previous record for spring game attendance (73,000 in 1986), a fact I previously didn't know. Had I known it, would I have bragged? Am I little jealous that we've never put 102,000 in Neyland for the Orange/White game?

I might be fooling myself, but I don't think so. Like many people who saw that number from Saturday, my initial reaction was the Allen Iverson "practice, man, practice" rant. I vehemently argued last fall that any time one has the opportunity  to see a game at Neyland, one must go. Notice I said "game." This is practice man practice, and I can't see myself driving the over five hours it takes for me to get to Knoxville for that. I'll do it to see the Vols take on anybody from Florida to Idaho, but not for practice man practice.

Maybe Epps is right. Maybe that makes me less passionate. But maybe I'm just more realistic. And it couldn't be that Alabama fans are less realistic, could it?.

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