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Thursday, August 24, 2006

If it ain't praise, college football fans don't want to hear it

If I've learned one thing in the short amount of time we've been doing this little blog it's that, unless you lavish undue praise on another team when you bring them up, prepare to get pummeled. That's because college football fans only want to read positive things about their team if written by someone outside the family.

Recently, I put up a post stating my opinion that the Michigan-Notre Dame series needs a rest. As mentioned at the time, it wasn't anti-ND, it was pro-variety. I didn't disparage the Irish, I just felt (and feel) that the rivalry doesn't have the excitement it used to and would regain that if it wasn't played every year. Since we're not conference foes, why not take a break every couple of seasons and replace Notre Dame with a home-and-home with another top program?

Well, you would have thought I called Joe Montana a pussy and questioned the sexuality of the Four Horsemen. While comments here were generally not too bad, a quick check of the ND sites that were linking to us revealed a strong sentiment that the post was really some deep seated frustration at Michigan's recent record against the Irish or an attempt to dodge a tough opponent like ND and replace them with some 1-AA jellyfish (actually, if we were beating the Irish each year, that would be even more reason to swap that game for another).

Granted, most of that irate reaction probably came from those who read Bo's statement on the subject that I linked to. Bo said Michigan should drop the Irish adding something along the lines of ND needing Michigan more than we need them. But as more than one person commented, ND doesn't need Michigan or any other school for that matter (and vice versa). I'm not sure what prompted Bo to voice his opinion in such harsh terms but my point was simply a break to schedule another great school.

But not in the eyes of those how live and breath ND. No, to them, this was some personal assault on the Irish Nation.

And such anger at perceived online slights isn't limited to Irish fans. It seems to be a phenomenon found across the college football blogosphere.

When we put up our initial post about Auburn's love of multiple mascots, while the vast majority of War...Tig-eag-er fans were able to laugh at what, if you read again, is a good natured and not mean-spirited joke, some fans responded here (but usually on the ol' team message boards out there) with venom.

And heck, it's not a secret I have a lot of respect for Texas and their fans here. I enjoy one of their fan sites, Hornfans.com, and those fans have given us a lot of love. But in the comments section under the our most recent caption contest, thinking the picture might be about Texas instead of Tennessee, one anonymous Longhorn fan had this to say:

so is that supposed to be a Texas jacket? because that's a Tennessee logo..

if it is supposed to be a Texas logo, then thanks for posting on Hornfans, where most have enjoyed your opinion.. cuz I doubt you'd be welcome now after this.


Even if it was "anti-Texas," would that really have been that big a deal? I've probably written dozens of pro-Texas posts on this site, if I were to put up one joke at UT's expense, should I really be banished into cyber-Siberia as a result? I would hope not.

But, alas, thin skin is the nature of the college football blogosphere. I admit that I'm often guilty of it myself. Although, if you're a regular reader here, you know that we poke fun at our own Wolverines more than anybody outside of the Buckstache-having cretins our dear friends in Columbus. Then again, at 7-5 last year, what choice do we have?

Ok, I'll get off my soapbox now. And I promise we'll be back to semi-clothed co-eds before you know it. Nobody ever complains about them (ok, except for the Vandy Thetas).


TitleIX said...

If ya can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen.

Clearly they think it's all fun and games till someone pokes their eye out....

shake it off, gentleman, shake it off

Anonymous said...

I think you should drop them until they get a new less offensive nickname. That will show them that UM is sensitive to its more refined Irish fanbase that is insulted by the "Fighting" label.

Wild Willie said...

As a Texas fan and alum, I say bring on the jokes even if they are directed at Texas. Crap even I could laugh when the oklahoma landstealers had their streak on us, and the joke was "How many Longhorns does it take to change a flat? Only one, unless it is a blowout then about 80,000 of them show up."

DevilGrad said...

Yeah, but now that you mention it, guys, you just *know* that at least two of those Four Horsemen were riding bareback.

Anonymous said...

I am also a Texas fan and alum, and all I have to say is that guy who complained about the jacket was an idiot.

BTW, I am a big fan of Hornfans and this site.

jg6544 said...

NAH! It was obvious that the guy was a Vol fan!

Check out InsideTexas one of these days. I post a lot of your things there.

CrimeNotes said...

Stop criticizing people for being thin skinned. After this kind of unwarranted smear against the thin skinned, your thoughts will no longer welcome at thinskinnednation.com.

Becky said...

Some of the threads on this here blog show me why starting a Michigan - Texas rivalry would be so damn awesome. Fans have respect, senses of humor - I'm totally in.

Becky said...

Some of the threads on this here blog show me why starting a Michigan - Texas rivalry would be so damn awesome. Fans have respect, senses of humor - I'm totally in.

Anonymous IV said...

Remember there are over six billion people on this rock and someone, somewhere, sometime is not going to have kind things to say about you.

So to quote Rabbi Hillel,

"If I am not for myself, then who will be for me? And when I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?"

Greg said...

Man, you didn't mention Penn State in your post about other teams! That pisses me off. How dare you! What, they're not good enough for you, is that it?

Scott Boswell said...

I was walking into my work building today and out of nowhere Chris Simms threw me an interception.

Trojan Mike said...

Good thing you haven't said anything bad about my USC Trojans.

Boomer Bear said...

Trojans and the Bush-Push SUCK! We will kick your butt in the coliseum this year. IRISH National Champs baby!

jim masterson said...

Benny & Yost would have to write a sequel to "War and Peace" to be critical of the usc program.

jim masterson said...

That would be a Great Intersectional game UM v. UT. I believe the Uof T in Austin is once again expanding Memorial-Royal Stadium

Anonymous said...

If you really want to screw with someone's mind, post something positive about tOSU

surrounded in columbus said...

your post hits the mark on a couple of issues.

first, what do people expect when they read a Michigan blog? do they really expect rose bouquets? have they read their own team blogs lately?

I don’t think too many of “other team” fan blogs spend much time dithering whether they’re being fair to opposing teams, or presenting all the facts in a plenary fashion. almost all of the school specific fan blogs spend most of their time patting themselves on the back, talking about how great they are, and how much the other teams sucks. what is it about yours that would raise other expectations? if any thing you’ve been too impartial at times and have become a victim of your own good reputation.

so ND fans had a fit over what you post on the rivalry? geez people- grow up. you need to throttle back when someone talks about alternating you on their schedule- we’re not married, so we really can’t get divorced. and they’d be wise not to eaves drop in Frasers on game day. they could get a real earful of what a lot of other Michigan fans think.

the second thought that kicked off for me today was how very deeply people seem to care/be offended by what you/your other bloggers think. when I cruise past a tosu site, I don’t expect to hear anything positive about US, and wouldn’t waste my time trying to tell them they’re wrong. but they sure seem to get bent if you say something.

a good example is in the comments on Andy’s highlight show post. from reading his comment, el Kaiser appears not only to have read/watched the show, but then felt compelled to go back to his tosu site and post his own little “tre$$el era” slide show as some sort of counter measure. is that some how supposed to balance out the universe? like there weren’t enough tosu slide shows of heisman trophy candidate ted ginn jr out there already? apparently not.

in the end, my opinion is that all this complaining is really a compliment to how good your stuff is. tosu and other fans read it because it IS funny. the stuff gets passed along (sometimes even stolen) and circulated far beyond the site. el Kaiser et al, feel compelled to “launch counter measures” because they know your posts are going to be read by a LOT of folks.

i'm probably one of your original readers, and as a michigan grad, i'd like to think i'm your "target" audience.

keep it coming.

Anonymous said...

As a Texas alum and Hornfans lurker, let me say that I really appreciate your posts. I also read MZone regularly, because, well, yall are freaking hilarious.

Keep up the good work and don't let one random poster rain on your parade.

Hook 'em and go Blue