...Everyone has their way of being a fan. Alabama's fan base is second to no one. We pack that stadium year in and year out. That says something. Inner fueding among the fan base is nothing more than Rival bulletin board material. Thats my belief.
This is something more worthy of a general discussion in June than now, but there is no way I would remember or think to bring it up in June. This is not to imply that I think UA football has all the traits I list below, but here goes...
Is a fan base that continues to pour money into a program mired in mediocrity that does not demand internal excellence really a 'good fan' of that program?
Is a fan base that continues to buy tickets and pack the stadium for a program that has a habit of hiring and/or retaining key personnel based on little (or nothing in some cases) qualifications or demonstrated accomplishments and that achieves very little respective to the amount of advantages and resources provided really a 'good' fan base? Or are they enablers instead?
Take the Chicago Cubs for instance. For decades Cubs fans filled Wrigley Field and bought Cubs merchandise in record numbers. Actually accepting the term 'The Loveable Losers.' Was that fan base truly helpful to the goal of winning championships? What motivation did the ownership of the Cubs have to spend money on scouting and player development and compete salary-wise for free agents? Revenues were virtually maxed out. Why take risks with the bottom line when there is little to no financial reward to be had. What personal consequences were applied to the owners and senior executives of the club for failing to produce a championship calibre club year after year after year after year...
Might we say the same with Alabama football over the last decade plus? Beginning with the probation scandal created by Stallings and Ingram, through the debacle of DuBose, through the failed coaching searches of Franchoine-Price-Shula our fans bought tickets in record numbers, bought jerseys in record numbers, and filled Bryant-Denny in record numbers. Did we ever really put any financial pressure on the people entrusted to manage 'our' program effectively?
In many instances, not only did we not hold our own people accountable for their destructive actions, we actually took efforts to support and defend and reward them because they were once touched by The Coach himself. We, like many other fans, are too quick to say 'because he is our guy you are not a real fan if you criticize his behavior/decision (there is a potential bitter discussion brewing on a UF forum about Meyer being classless last night by keeping the first-team offense in the game with under two minutes remaining and
throwing the ball into the end zone - most are defending the indefensible conduct, so UA fans are not unique or alone). Would not a real fan of the program have been or be more openly critical of conduct/behavior that is unacceptable than excusing same? And demand more from everyone from the second-string waterboy to the star WR to the Head Coach to the Athletic Director to the Board of Trustees?
Again, I am not saying we are a 'bad' fanbase - or even different from many devoted to 'their team.' This is really intended more as a philosophical debating point on what is truly beneficial conduct and not.