Rules for being a College Football Fan

From the Seattle Times 10/1

The tenets of faith in college football

Rule No. 1: No bigamy. You have one school that you get to be passionate about: The one you attended.Exception 1: If you attended a school from a lower division or one that did not field a football team. Then you get to root for the team you cheered for as a kid or the team in a city where you have lived for more than 10 years.

Exception 2: If you did not go to college, you generally get three choices. 1) You can root for the school with a direct family link, preferably a parent, and cousins don’t count. 2) A school with a clear geographic link to where you live. 3) You attended a game involving that team that resulted in a life-changing experience. (You were moved to tears, you found love, etc.).

Rule No. 2: You can like teams in other conferences. These are like harmless little crushes and can be based on anything from a preference for a certain player, style of play or uniform colors. You can even own a T-shirt if you want, but the outcomes of these games should never affect your mood or prompt you to curse.

There are two restrictions with regard to these little flings.

Restriction 1: There can be no ambiguity who you cheer for when the schools meet.

Restriction 2: They must be from other conferences. When it comes to teams in your school’s conference you are required to root only for the outcome that best helps your school.

Corollary to Restriction 2: You should generally root for a team from your school’s conference when it plays outside the conference. The only exceptions are when that team is part of your school’s axis of evil (cough, cough, Oregon, cough, cough) and then by all means you are entitled to root against them at will.

Rule No. 3: For individuals possessing multiple degrees, the institution of undergraduate study holds a position of preeminence. You are encouraged to follow institutions of postgraduate work and allowed to own T-shirts and hats and even express disappointment when those teams lose. It’s a secondary affiliation, though, and unless the undergraduate institution played a lower level of football, it still holds sway.

Danny O’Neil