Twitter, message boards, and any other anonymous form of social media where people do not have to sign their name (I know, ironic coming from an anonymous moniker), are truly a drain on our society. I do not ever post anything to which I would not sign my name. I noticed since some web sites (e.g. ESPN) have gone to using Facebook as the means of their comments section, there are so many fewer comments on each story. Plus the comments are much cleaner and the tone is a little more pleasant. Not that everyone is nice, because there are jerks who are jerks whether people know their names or not, but is is much different than going to any other place where people can hide their Mr. Hyde in anonymity.
Fact: Many — not all, but many — Auburn fans are trying to hurt Rashaan Evans and his family via the internet because of his choice to attend Alabama.
Over the years we’ve done this site, we’ve seen fans from various schools rip players for signing with a rival school, for backing out of a commitment, for missing a kick in a big game, etc. When that happens, I give you my take which is typically: “Those fans are fools.”
Inevitably the response is, “You hate fans!” So just to be clear right up front… no, this writer doesn’t hate fans. I hate the stupid fans. Hate. Can’t stand. Despise. Look down upon. Mock.
Well, today it’s Auburn’s stupid fans who need a trip to the woodshed. Since Evans — who attended Auburn High School — signed with Alabama last week, he and his family have been absolutely destroyed on Twitter. (Shocking, I know, considering the fact that Twitter is the best avenue running for anonymous jackasses to spew hate from the safety of their own mother’s basement.) Worse, the addresses of the family’s home and business have been posted online.
“It’s getting worse. Someone actually put out an article about my family’s business telling all Auburn fans not to go there. We are going to eventually start losing money. People are telling restaurants in the town not to serve us…
Social media has definitely been the worst. People on Instagram are telling me how they hope I tear my ACL in Game One. They will laugh when I do. They are saying my family is horrible and how they didn’t raise me right. It’s just crazy.”
Now, I could spin this off into my usual views on Twitter — a tool which simultaneously ramps up rage, lowers our national IQ, and disseminates false information — and how it will eventually be the downfall of our already running-on-borrowed-time Republic, but we’ll save that for another day.
So let’s just back to the stupidity of the Auburn fanbase. Evans’ father attended Auburn. He was the top running back in the state of Alabama in 1982 and he chose to play for the Tigers over the Tide. Now, thirty years on, the AU fanbase is trying to destroy that same man’s business.
Guess there’s a 30-year statute of limitations on loyalty down on the Plains.
The good news in all of this is that Auburn fans — appropriately enough — are drawing attention from all over the nation because of their irrational response to this particular teenager choosing his college. Act like fools, expect America to cover your foolishness. You asked for it.
But before any Tiger fan can post an insult, mention Harvey Updyke or type the letters “WDE!,” let me make one other thing clear — it’s not just Auburn fans who make asses of themselves in the Yellowhammer State. Alabama fans have also been ugly when in-state players have chosen to play for the Tigers over the Tide.
From threatening teenagers to poisoning trees — Good Lord, what a fool Updyke was — the Iron Bowl rivalry is the worst in the United States. You read that right. Not the best, the worst.
I’ve lived in Columbus, Ohio and experienced Ohio State/Michigan. I’ve lived in the Tarheel State and witnessed North Carolina/Duke. Fans of those schools don’t like the other school, but the level of pure, nasty hate in those rivalries can’t match the vile stuff that’s tied each year to the Alabama/Auburn rivalry. Sadly, Tigers versus Tide takes first prize for lunacy.
Here’s guessing that the majority of the people who’ve ruined the UA/AU rivalry with their over-the-top theatrics — you know, the ones who’ve made Paul Finebaum rich — never even attended one of those two schools in the first place. They’re almost certainly sidewalk alums. Think about it. No one smart enough to attend a university would also be so daffy as to threaten a recruit’s family business.
But, oh, how those sidewalk alums do make their schools look bad. Year after year and month after month. Quick — think of all the nonsense that’s surrounded the Iron Bowl rivalry in recent years. That includes all of the allegations of illegal activity that the schools’ fans toss at one another. From Cam Newton to T-Town Menswear, rival fans are typically the ones playing amateur sleuth and pushing this stuff to the media. (The irony is that both schools have been caught cheating so many times it’s hard to keep count on which number is higher — NCAA probations or national championships?)
Now try to think of the worst stories from Michigan/OSU or Duke/UNC. Hell, toss in Texas/Texas A&M, for that matter. No other rivalry in America runs as ugly as Alabama/Auburn. None even come close. No fans bring so much negative attention to their schools as those fans of Alabama and Auburn.
It’s a damn shame, but it’s absolutely true.
So congratulations nitwittish Auburn fans. You’re the asses who are making a mockery of the Iron Bowl rivalry, your school and your state today. Way to go.
Alabama fans, you’re on the clock.