By Season Vining
It’s that time of the year when we southern Louisianians come together over a common love for the Tiger team. Football season brings a promise of cooler temperatures and exciting scores earned yard by yard. But it also brings a family-size variety pack of people and behaviors that are going to drive us mad. Whether you are burning meat on a hot grill, kicking back with a cold beer in your favorite recliner, or cheering for those Tigers in the student section, you are bound to encounter that asshole who is twelve-seconds away from a swift and deliberate throat punch. In any crowd, the odds of at least one person behaving inappropriately are pretty high. And the festivities of college football seem to bring out a level of douchebaggery that rivals even Kanye and his ego. Let’s take a minute to explore these poor bastards and their conduct.
This person woke up with one intention, to drink enough PBR to make bad decisions and forget the consequences. They start drinking at 10 a.m. for a 7 p.m. game. They drink all of their beer, then yours, and then move on to any stranger who passes by toting an ice chest. They smell like sour sweat and embarrassment. This jerk is sloppy and stumbling, taking out old ladies and toddlers in their wake. Usually armed with a mental catalog of third-grade insults, The Drunk is always looking for a fight. With droopy eyes, they challenge every passerby to look at them the “wrong way” only to realize they can’t get out of their chair to do anything about it. They announce every time they have to pee and make such bold statements as “Let’s go to Crazy Horse after the game!” only to pass out mere moments into the first quarter. In this case, football is not a sport. It is only an excuse to see how many Jello shots they can hold down before that jambalaya reappears.
The easiest offenders to spot are the political candidates who suddenly have t-shirts, hats, stickers, fans, and koozies with their names and campaign promises printed in purple and gold. They run television commercials during football. They infiltrate our tailgating grounds, posing as fellow fans, only to con us into promising our vote and unborn children to them. And they are not alone. The Opportunists have gangs of followers who are passing out swag and urging you to keep their candidate in mind when casting your vote. Here, take these stickers. We’ll take your soul.
The second kind of Opportunists (sometimes called Moochers) are the people who don’t give a flying tiger about football, but with the invite to watch the game, will be the first to r.s.v.p. Why? Because they will never turn down a good meal and cocktails. This “If it’s free, it’s for me” offender simply wants a full belly and a buzz on your dime. They don’t care one bit whether Lebron James scores a home run in the third period or if Derek Jeter sits the entire match in the penalty box.
THE LOUD MOUTH
The title is self-explanatory. This guy (or girl) has no inside voice. There is only shouting. The verbiage can range from everyday conversation (“How’s your mom and them?”) to the obnoxious and downright offensive (“Nick Saban is a GOD!”). Every thought that runs through their mind, comes out of their mouth, and at a decibel that makes your ears bleed and your head pound. Of course, no Loud Mouth would be complete without the frequent use of four-letter words to drive home their point. The luckiest fans have learned to tune these offenders out. But most of us let each yelled word stab and poke at our souls until we are a seething mess of side-eyes and dramatic huffs. Give it up, Loud Mouths never get the hint. If you want to take down a Loud Mouth, you’ve got to become one.
THE SUPER FAN
The least offensive, but still annoying, is the Super Fan. This person knows every starting player’s name, their stats, their hometown, who their momma is, and how she takes her coffee. They are usually dressed smartly for the weather with each item coordinating. Sometimes the existence of a dingy lucky sock or t-shirt will throw off their look, but don’t let that fool you. This person has their shit together. Super Fans like to pre-game, but are incapable of talking about anything other than the upcoming gridiron battle. Bring up last night’s episode of Big Brother, and they are likely to find a clever way to loop that back around to the running back who should get voted off the team. This fan watches the pregame show, the entire game (even if it’s a blowout), and all post game recaps. They talk in football terms and think fair-weather fans should be hung from the goalposts. While Super Fans may appear tame, beware their fierce team loyalty and temper. You don’t want to see them when they’re angry.
This is a short list and far from complete. We’ve all been in situations where we’ve had to deal with one or two of these offenders. As Southerners, we are raised with manners, but when it comes to obnoxious people, we sometimes have to put down our sweet tea and choke a bitch out. The easiest thing to do is to be aware of your surroundings. Look around. Do you recognize these foul behaviors? Can you easily identify the offenders on this list in your own crowd? If not, sorry to break the news, but you may be one of th