Any partisan can nettle a neutral. That’s the difference between passion and dispassion. And I, it must be stipulated, get paid to be neutral. So maybe I’m not the best judge.
On the other hand, I saw my first SEC game in 1969 and covered my first conference game in 1976, and over time I’ve visited each of the league’s 12 outposts. So I’ve had the opportunity to observe and collate, and today, as a preseason public service, I present this ranking of SEC football fans, starting with the least irritating and culminating with the truly insufferable.
12. Mississippi State: The only time State fans get really upset is when you make fun of their rustic town. I know this from experience. But you know what? If I’d have been a Starkvillian and read what I wrote back in 2005, I’d have gotten ticked, too.
11. Kentucky: No, not because I’m an alum. Because, contrary to popular belief, the world’s worst basketball fans actually care about football. Unlike in hoops, though, they’re not ready to fire their coach after a loss. Good thing, since the football ‘Cats lose a lot.