A Gator Fan Writes In


We got an email today from a Gator fan, and had a good chat with him. Apparently, Florida fans are as frustrated as Auburn fans with Alabama’s unwillingness to admit the superiority of other teams. Thought you’d enjoy reading the transcript…

AlabamaGameday: Considering we’ve won 3 of the last 5 against the Gators, we haven’t had a chance to get used to it. I expect a rematch next year, so we may put your friend’s theory to the test.

GF: It is a good thing you did not play them over the last eight years, or that record would be far worse. Hope you have a replacement for JPW or 2009 might not be a year you see the Gators again.

Bama fans always twist things their way in some way and you are a perfect example.

AG: I think our quarterback situation should shake out just fine. Neither of our top backups are as good as the Lord Tebow Almighty, but we’ll be okay. The 2009 schedule looks very manageable with the talent we have coming back, so we’ll be favorites to win the SEC West next year.

It’s nice to be a perfect example of something. Fans do always see the bright side for their team; that’s what fans do. I doubt Florida fans are any different. It does surprise me Gator fans aren’t focusing on Oklahoma and the title game as much as they are on Alabama and what we do. I think the Gators hear footsteps behind them.

I realize that was selective of me to mention only the last 5 meetings. Overall, Alabama owns a 21-13 advantage over Florida. Alabama has had a well-documented decade of mediocrity, that now appears to be over.

GF: Oh we are focused on Oklahoma big time. It will be a great game with two outstanding QB’s playing. Tebow will have his match in this game for sure; JPW was no match for Tebow.

It is always fun to needle Bama Fans that claim 12 national titles. If you go to the “Official NCAA Records” they do not appear. [ed. Here’s a pretty good article on the subject.] At least the ones we have were earned and not imagined. You have no idea how people outside of Alabama view the average Bama fan. It showed in Atlanta with the arrogance most of your fans portrayed. They just knew St. Nick would will a win over the Gators no matter how much better we are. It would have been worse if Percy had played. Probably one to two more TD’s!

If the Pensacola Times named you a national champion in 1931, Bama fans put it in the brochure. You get kicked in the teeth by AU most of the years since Bear (16 wins AU and 12 wins AL) and you still treat them like second-class citizens. Only Alabama fans live in the decades of the 20th century, and try and make all believe they are superior to all the other teams in the SEC. Oh you will come back with all that history, as you did in your reply, but only now is what counts really. We are in a new century.

We have great respect for those Tigers from Auburn, and they at least figured out a way to stop Tebow and Percy last year and they beat us the year before in Gainesville. You are fortunate you did not have to play the Gators every year Spurrier was in place like AU did. We would have won most of those games. Same this century too.

Enjoy Saban while you have him, because he stays no place much longer than five years. He gets out before the dogs get him every time. Bama fans have not figured out it is all about Nick and no one else.

I doubt we see the Tide in Atlanta next year. If Tebow goes pro, we may not be there either. Look at the SEC teams this year that had new or poor QB’s. None did that well. Bama, Vanderbilt, Gators, Ole Miss, and Georgia had great guys coming back and it showed throughout the year. Go back at look at Saban’s year after he won the National Title. Not a year Bama fans will want to see after this year.

AG: Oklahoma has a great offense, but they don’t play D in the Big 12, so Florida should have little problem.

I’m sure it’s fun to needle Alabama fans, as it is to needle any rival fans, but take off your jorts and try to have some objectivity. As a fellow Florida resident, I do know how Alabama fans are perceived. But there’s no shortage of redneck, ignorant Gator fans shuffling about the Wal-Mart, either.

So let’s see if you’ve checked off every rival fan grievance…

• Alabama claims national titles we don’t want them to: Check
• Only years in which (insert your team name) was successful should be remembered; remembering the years Alabama was on top is ‘living in the past:’ Check
• Alabama fans hoped and believed their team would win, instead of taking their beating like The Citidel: Check
• Alabama should defer to Auburn, who has one-half of a national title in 120 years: Check
• Saban is a nomad who’s gonna ditch Alabama: Check

You managed to hit most of the talking points, so I give you credit. You obviously spend lots of time researching Alabama’s football team.

Nouveau riche teams like Florida have to mock tradition, since your own tradition of excellence extends all the way back to the 1990s. To teams like Auburn and Florida, the past extends back only as far as their winning streak or last title run. Win a few more titles, and we’ll talk.

GF: I spend time looking at all college football! I can talk the Fighting Irish with the best of them. They have national titles claimed the same way Bama does.

I knew you would go back 120 years as all Bama fans do. All those fans are dead. At least living in Florida you know most people in Alabama need to get a life and not spend 24/7/365 thinking and talking about Bama or AU football. One good thing here is we have the Jags, Bucs, and Dolphins that are on the next level to cheer for. We have major league baseball and here in Tampa solid hockey too. It is nice to have the diversity.

I do have great respect for the Crimson Tide and they have certainly represented Southern Football well for many years. The majority of the fans I encountered in Atlanta were not good representatives of nice cheerful Alabama fans. That is too bad since it reflects badly on your fan base.

AG: Well, there are plenty of distractions in Florida. And it’s easy to prejudge anyplace without knowing the history. But devotion is what makes being a sports fan fun.

Obviously, you’d rather be selective about the time frame when talking about success; it’s more fun to limit discussion to the time period your own program has been successful.

There’s no doubt the SEC is the strongest conference in college football, top to bottom. Assuming Meyer stays in Florida (if you like that guy, you may want to keep following Notre Dame), the Gators figure to be up top for a while. Welcome to the club.