Having grown up in the south where it’s often said that “football is a form of religion,” I’ll be the first to admit that we Southern football fans are collectively the leaders when it comes to taking football fanaticism – both good and (at times) bad – to the extreme. Whether it’s 80,000+ showing up to a spring football game (good), entire states turning national signing day each February into an unofficial holiday (good) or an irrational fan poisoning 100-year-old oak trees on his rival team’s campus, few can legitimately argue that college football isn’t an undeniably relevant part of the South’s cultural fabric.
But while Southern football fans may arguably be the standard bearers when it comes to “college football fan passion,” my years of working in college sports have shown me that we definitely don’t have that market cornered in this category. From Midnight Yell practice, to Dotting the “i” in Script Ohio, to “Touchdown Jesus,” it’s become plainly evident to me that college football fan passion stretches well beyond regional and geographical boundaries. And it’s this nationwide college football fan passion (and the unique school traditions that come along with it) that, to me, makes the sport so special.