Shane: Does the SEC really care?

By Shane from Centerpoint

What do college basketball, pro golf, and NASCAR racing have in common? All three couldn’t pay the bills if they depended on SEC fans for income. In spite of media-generated perceptions designed to convince us otherwise, I believe these and many other sports mean very little to SEC football fans.

I have no doubt that one of the main reasons for the high level of dedication by SEC fans probably lies in the fact that the Southeastern Conference is regarded as the premier league in all of college football.

With four straight BCS national championships (Alabama, Florida, LSU, and Florida again) and two of the last three Heisman Trophy winners (Ingram and Tebow) it’s easy to understand why football dominates the landscape in the South.

Do you really think that Crimson Tide fans are overly concerned that new head coach Anthony Grant didn’t get his basketball team to the “big dance”? Or, are Tide fans already deep into the “process” with Nick Saban and the football team, focusing on spring training and the next championship run? If you ask me I’d bet the house on the latter.

Should Tennessee supporters be enjoying the ride with Coach Bruce Pearl and his basketball squad as they roll through the NCAA basketball tournament? Sure. However, that’s awfully hard to do when the main thing occupying their daily thoughts centers on whether new football coach Derek Dooley can get the program back to respectability.

Is the Auburn fan base hyped and excited about the possibilities associated with having a brand new basketball coach and arena to match? When they finish celebrating their top-five football recruiting class we can ask them. That party began on signing day when Gene Chizik and his staff signed a top-five recruiting class for the first time in years? In fact I don’t even think they know Jeff Lebo’s been fired.

Am I making sense yet? Of course I know that sports enthusiasts are supposed to be well rounded and strive to appreciate the value of every sport but, apparently, somebody forgot to emphasize that point when they issued the handbooks — especially around the SEC.

Has anybody noticed that Tiger Woods has gotten more publicity out of his marriage scandal than he ever did by being the best golfer in the world? Also, in my opinion the golf world is selling-out its moral and ethical clout for Woods because it can’t draw fans without him.

Nevertheless, I feel safe in saying that this spring – with football practice on the agenda – most SEC football fans won’t pay very much attention to Tiger’s trials and tribulations. Yet, they will be very concerned with the results of the battles for the starting quarterback position in their team’s intra-squad games. Avid fans will spend months breaking down what they’ve seen on the field.

As far as NASCAR goes, in the old days some SEC gridiron junkies would use this form of auto racing as a bridge to occupy a few hours on weekends during the off-season. However, that changed when college football became a year–round event.

Between the regular season, recruiting, spring training, and summer camp college football interest is in maximum overdrive 24/7 – 365!

Inevitably, some will claim that this article is loaded with bias, but I’m of the opinion that most southerners would say I hit the nail on the head. Actually, I really think the SEC’s passion for football can only be truly understood if you live it. Television just doesn’t do it justice.

If you ever get the opportunity to spend a Saturday night in Bryant-Denny or Jordan-Hare stadium watching Alabama’s finest play a top-tier SEC opponent, you’ll become addicted to the intoxicating current that surrounds the event. By the way, that same electricity is also responsible for transforming us from normal sports fans into SEC football fanatics.

—Shane writes a weekly column for the Call News and the Capstone Report.

15 Responses to “Shane: Does the SEC really care?” Subscribe

  1. BamaCLT March 22, 2010 at 12:47 pm #

    Unfortunately, due to socio-economic conditions and lack of job opportunities, many of us have to move to thriving markets and come home to Alabama to retire. Most young people go away for college, or go away after college, and return later on in life. It’s sad, but very, very true. I’d venture a guess that it’s the same for the rural gaps between failing metropolis’ all throughout SEC country. It’s not that we don’t want to come home and support our team; it’s that we do not have the time or resources to make the trip.

  2. bamaandjrfan March 22, 2010 at 1:23 pm #

    Apparently shane hasn’t been to the campgrounds at talladega for the fall race. More generators and rvs with groups huddled around watchin football than I’ve ever seen in ttown, after the racing festivities of course! The other sports, maybe, but ya missed on the nascar!

  3. elephantstomp March 22, 2010 at 2:07 pm #

    Blah, blah, blah, they start back practice today.

  4. THE CRIMSON HAMMAH March 22, 2010 at 11:09 pm #

    quotes of the day………………
    mike k – duke basketball coach – How do u get to the final four? Mike – U get there by winning. 3/22/2010

  5. The BAMMER From St. Clair March 23, 2010 at 12:18 am #

    YO! I believe that most SEC Fans would agree that basketball, baseball, golf or whatever would be classified as “fill-in sports.” While “March Madness” IS exciting, it just “fills in” a portion of time between the end & beginning of football season. The same goes for College & Major League Baseball, the NBA, golf, soccer or WHATEVER is out there. NASCAR’s a different breed. Many NASCAR fans are BIG football fans but are willing to sacrifice watching a game in order to attend the “race of the week.” I’ve known some like that and I’m HAPPY TO SAY that I’m not in that category. NASCAR’s alright, but in my book its just another “fill-in” during the Spring & Summer. When Fall arrives its football season, plain & simple.

  6. bamadon March 23, 2010 at 2:12 am #

    There are two fan bases in the SEC that border on crazy!! UK basketball and Alabama football. I was in a sporting goods store yesterday and seeing all the Bama stuff I was like a kid in
    a candy store wanting to buy everything. Waiting for A-day and
    the regular season can’t get hear fast nuff!! Just another crazy
    Alabama fan trying to get thur the spring and hot summer season!! RTR

  7. THE CRIMSON HAMMAH March 23, 2010 at 3:01 pm #

    U GOT TO THANK MAMA FOR MARRYING A BAMA MAN

  8. elephantstomp March 23, 2010 at 6:00 pm #

    God I can’t wait to see Hightower play again! He is going to be a beast, as long as he stays healthy. Our Defense is going to be nasty. There was more raw talent on the sideline than on the field last season. I’m also interested in the QB race at Auburn. If Newton is what everybody says, watch out.

  9. COMMIECARE March 24, 2010 at 7:27 am #

    HEY SHANE I SEE WHERE THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA@TUSCALOOSA LOST ITS APPEAL. WHAT DID THEY THINK WAS GOING TO HAPPEN AFTER CHEATING FOR THE LAST 15 YEARS.UA@T HAS A 28-17 RECORD FOR THE LAST 5 YEARS.SHORTY HAS A 28-8 RECORD IN HIS SHORT 3 YEARS. I AM SURE AFTER THE NCAA GETS THROUGH WITH THE CRIMINAL TERDS NEXT SPRING THE 2009 SEASON WILL BE
    ALL LOSSES ALSO. TROUBLE IS COMING

  10. elephantstomp March 24, 2010 at 8:20 am #

    Who cares about those “losses”! Next spring we will be getting ready to make history by winning 3 NCs in a row, and you know it’s true. Nobody is going to beat this team in T-Town (14-0 last 2 yrs) and we will beat LSU after a week off. Ohio St can’t beat us either, assuming that’s who we will play in the title game. The thing is, Bama fans can realistically talk about this and you can’t! Ha Ha Ha RTR

  11. THEZIONHIP March 24, 2010 at 9:30 am #

    BAMMER WILL LOSE TO THE HOGGS,GATORS
    SOUTH CAROLINA,FOR SURE. CHEATER U WILL HAVE TOSS UPS AGAINST PENN ST,LSU,AUB. NO
    SEC WEST CHAMPIONSHIP FOR THE CHERATERS FROM WEST ALABAMA IN 2010.

  12. 13andCounting March 24, 2010 at 12:44 pm #

    I heard similiar predictions last year. If you keep making them, eventually you might be right. In the meantime, you’ll just look like an idiot.

  13. The BAMMER from St. Clair March 24, 2010 at 11:14 pm #

    YO! “COMMIECARE,” YOU say “trouble is coming.” Where’s it coming from? “ZIONHIP,” losses to Arkansas & South Carolina? Don’t see it. Florida? Well, they’re VERY good but DONTCHA REMEMBER the SEC Championship Game? Sure we lost a lot of starters on defense but WE DO HAVE a good nucleus returning and our offense IS going to be VERY GOOD, possibly GREAT. Fellow BAMMERS, ain’t it GREAT to be envied again? I LOVE IT! Later!

  14. Elephantstomp March 26, 2010 at 7:37 am #

    This years team is going to beat peaple badly, like Miami did in the 80s. Arkansas is scared of us and would probably forfiet if they could, South carolina will have half of their starters hurt when we play them, and Saban took Urbans manhood last year and he’s not giving it back. Auburn winning the West is a joke. This is going to be a better football team than last year! RTR

  15. elephantstomp March 26, 2010 at 10:01 pm #

    Isn’t it funny how all year long, everybody bashed the SEC in BBall and we’re the only conf with two teams left.

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