The Alabama-Auburn trolling has really hit a fever pitch

There are 37 days until college football is back, which is exciting. Although far more people get excited by the eventual return of the NFL, I personally think college football is the greatest thing on the American sporting landscape. I’m definitely not alone in that.

As you probably know if you follow college football, last season it seemed like potentially Alabama was headed for another national championship game — and Alabama vs. FSU would have been interesting — but then this happened:

As a result of that situation (which literally seemed to crash my Facebook at the time), the long-standing Alabama vs. Auburn rivalry (detailed well in the 30 for 30 embedded at the top) has reached some epic trolling places, such as this:

Then there’s this whole thing, whereby Alabama and Auburn are fighting about HTML code.

And while this isn’t about Alabama or Auburn, the SEC trolling has reached another new low with this story:

Tennessee Titans rookie quarterback Zach Mettenberger was the victim of a sucker punch during an incident over the weekend at a popular Nashville nightspot, according to its owner.

Steve Ford, owner of Losers Most Wanted Bar & Grill, said Mettenberger did nothing to provoke another bar patron, but the 6-5, 224-pound quarterback ended up getting punched in the face. He did not require medical attention.

“Here’s the truth: The guy said something about ‘Roll Tide!’ to Zach, and Zach turned around and said ‘Good luck with that,’ ” Ford said on Monday. “And the guy’s buddy then sucker-punched Zach.

If you’ve never been to Nashville (I haven’t), here’s a quick review of Losers:

It’s a bar. It’s in Midtown. It’s lots of college kids. It’s perfectly fine if you just want to sit and drink. Nice patio. Can’t really see anything that differentiates it from Winner’s or Rebar. The 1 toilet bathroom is a little ridiculous. The “security” guy was kind of a dick when it was time to close. He just came over and told us we have to get out. Not nicely at all. Just “get out.” Umm, whatever dude.

Makes sense.

Trolling in the SEC is a time-honored tradition — you can say it’s a cliche, but football is a damn sacred passion down there — and there’s a post here that attempts to explain why:

But why is hating on Alabama such good business? There’s a good reason why Clay Travis and Tim Brando love to pick on the Tide, other than Tennessee and LSU love respectively.  Alabama is the Yankees, Alabama is the Patriots, Alabama is the Heat, Alabama is the (insert dominate dynasty hockey team here.)  Nick Saban has turned Alabama into a dominate program.  Even on Alabama’s down years they are playing for BCS bowls.  Even when they lose their BCS bowl and have a brand new quarterback they get ranked in the top 5.  Fans of other teams hate dynasties.

The trolls of college football know that if you want to get the highest number of people fired up you knock the big guy down a few pegs.  It’s human nature to want to see Goliath toppled from his pedestal.  To confirm this all you have to do is look at how social media lights up when Alabama loses a game.

Yep. Concur. College football fandom is about as base a study in human psychology as you can find. It’s all about in-group/out-group (often defined by the region you live in or where you went to school, or something to do with your family) and David/Goliath, which is in turn about knocking down the big, bad man at the end of the block.

I can’t wait for this to get started again. I’m actually living near Texas A&M — vaguely — for this season, so I may try to check out a game.

Oh, and by the by … Auburn and Alabama are both looking like top-five preseason teams again, so … be ready.



Ted Bauer