College football brings the best and worst out of people, sometimes myself

Zac Carlisle



I’ve always been a huge sports fan. I like to think that I got it “honest.” My dad and grandfather were big sports fans. One thing we could all agree on is that we loved college athletics.


The first shirt that I ever received was a Mississippi State Bulldogs T-shirt when I was a baby from my grandfather.


I appreciate all types of sports: football, baseball, basketball, hockey and even soccer. I get different looks when I say that I enjoy soccer, especially during the World Cup and the Olympics.


But my absolute favorite sport is college football. When fall approaches every year, I begin to smell the sausages being grilled, see the leaves changing and seeing everyone in town showing their school spirit.


 In Mississippi there are three major allegiances: the Mississippi State Bulldogs, Ole Miss Rebels or the Alabama Crimson Tide. You would not believe the number of Mississippi citizens who represent the elephant.


 Each year, social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram begin to become crowded with people arguing with each other about how their team is going to beat the others. Over the years, I’ve learned to stay away from those types of conversations. I used to be willing to tell someone off if they spoke ill of my Bulldogs, but I’ve learned that I’m not the best at arguing.


 To be honest, in my 23 years on the earth, I’ve only been to four college football games, and trust me when I say this — I’m a fanatic.


 I’ve been to many college baseball games, but the atmosphere just isn’t the same as a football game.


One of my fondest memories of college football was driving down the road listening to Jack Cristil while having the windows down and smelling the freshly cut cotton that lined the sides of the roads.


 With the success of all three of the universities’ football teams this year, one can imagine the type of trash talking that happens.


 I’ve heard it all: “State fans are nothing but rednecks;” “Ole Miss fans are stuck-up;” “Bama fans are bandwagon fans.” You name it, I’ve heard it.


 It’s OK to trash talk every now and then, but some people take it too far. I’ve seen death threats on social media that were directed at players, such as a kicker for missing a game-winning field goal.


 All three schools have their own merits and traditions.


Now, when I see trash-talking fans while online, I just ignore them.


Like an addiction, I’ve tried to cut back on my “fandom.”


 But, just as Michael Corleone said in the “The Godfather: Part III,” “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.”