clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Distillation & Distribution: the last thing I'll say about spring game attendance ever. Maybe.

The daily links again on hold for a little more on Monday's criticizm of Alabama's spring scrimmage attendance.

First, an entry on Nebraska site Big Red Network about the present and future of spring scrimmages:

I think it's fair to say that the tradition of college football spring scrimmages has turned the corner. What began as an opportunity for teams to knock off the rust and evaluate talent in the off season, has morphed into events that are more about entertaining fans and wooing recruits than anything happening on the field.
I don't know how it got to this point, but I guess that's right. I can see the the recruiting angle -- it certainly can't hurt recruiting to have 92,000 show up for practice -- but I disagree with this comment from the author:
My hunch is that no matter how die-hard we are as fans during the season, we all become a little more fair-weather in the spring.
I just don't think that going or not going to watch practice makes you more or less of a fan. Teams hold two or three open scrimmages each spring and fall, but only a handful show up for those; are they the only superfans among us?

And let me clarify: I have gone to many Orange/White scrimmages. I have gone to the unadvertised open scrimmages. I have gone to Vol baseball games and stood at the top of Lindsey-Nelson Stadium to watch practice going on across the street. But I've never sat in traffic for two hours to do it. And I've never felt like I was more of a fan for it. In fact, I felt a little delusional myself. Which brings me to this post from Alabama blog Eight in the Box:

The Tide faithful are just too interested in football for it to be healthy. Penn State and Ohio State both drew 70,000+ fans on Saturday, which was an appropriate number of fans, not too many, not too few, but filling up the stadium is just obscene. If Alabama would have only filled 3/4th of the stadium, would we be a good fan base instead of a sick and deusional fan base?

While other fan bases riot, burn cars, burn couches, and explode into unexplainable acts of vandalism (throwing toilet paper into trees), they are praised and cheered for their passion. Alabama fans take advantage of a chance to show support for a team that has had a rough time over the last four years and a coach that has taken a few knocks of his own, and the consensus in the sports world is that the Bama Nation is goat ass crazy. Maybe we should have trashed the quad and turned over a few cars on Bryant Drive and skipped the scrimmage.

For the record, I agree with the last sentence both figuratively and literally. But the point is well taken. I still say Bama fans are delusional, but I think that's actually normal for fans of college football. We're all delusional, we're all goat-a crazy. The A-Day game was just the latest manifestation of delusion, but I'm sure it will be topped in some form, maybe even before fall gets here.