The title wasn't supposed to be so provocative. Oh well.
I won't act like the pop singer who releases a song entitled "F****** Goats" and is deeply offended by the ensuing controversy. "Come on," he twitters, "F****** Goats is an offshoot of my artistic expression. Don't disrespect art!"
Everyone knows it's a controversial subject. ESPN v BTN. Speed v Off Tackle. Filling stadiums in bad or good times (do we have statistical proof?) v. Not doing that. But it's a semi useless, albeit interesting topic that gets kicked around constantly. So just some basic assertions I think hold some weight.
The answer to the question is no. SEC fans don't love football more. Loving your CFB experience or team just isn't a quantifiable thing. I asked T Kyle King of Dawg Sports if SEC fans were in love with football more than B10 fans - We'll consider his response dispositive:
Five years ago, I would have answered that question unequivocally in the affirmative, but, after spending four years in the blogosphere, I am less sure that this is the case. No one can doubt, for instance, that MGoBlog's Brian Cook is as heartfelt a Michigan fan as I am a Georgia fan.
Exactly. There is no way to compare fan passions, because college football is an individual experience. That comparison is a long, homerific road to arguments with no logical conclusions. The Penn State fan who camped out in 2005 before the OSU game cannot be compared to the dude who FOIA requested Houston Nutt's sexy texts to that reporter.
But the SEC fan does love differently. Ignore the Backstreet Boys-ish wording. But hey, the occasional crazy dies over his love of sport down South. That has to count for something? Again I quote T Kyle:
Every day of my professional life, I look out my office window at a railroad track that had to be rebuilt after the Battle of Jonesboro marked the end of William T. Sherman's Atlanta Campaign. My home town was burned to the ground as a result of that military defeat. My great-great-grandfather was imprisoned in a POW camp in Point Lookout, Maryland, as a result of his decision to defend his homeland from an invading army. If I said I didn't get a visceral sense of payback whenever I see a Big Ten team lose to an SEC team, I'd be lying.
Just because this site's mascot used much of your home town to fulfill all the legal elements of arson does not make you a better or more dedicated supporter. But it certainly adds an element to your identity as a college football fan. Ditto for discussing your grandfather's imprisonment in correlation with college football. Team Speed Kills adds:
if you look back at the 1920's and 30's Alabama and Georgia Tech teams (the South's first champions), they were doing more than just playing games when they faced northern teams. They were attempting to atone for a Civil War loss.
So what have we? I told you, there are no helpful conclusions. This article will give you as much closure as the last 25 minutes of No Country For Old Men. But I think it's helpful to note that the Iowa fan getting hammered at 8 in the morning near Kinnick is pretty damn similar to the 'Bama fan throwing on a tie and khakis to attend a night game at Bryant-Denny. I'm just glad we're all watching football and not fighting civil wars.