As the University of Florida continues to assert its dominance across its entire athletic department, there is one thing constantly biting at Gator Nation’s heels: FSU fans. Well, I shouldn’t say “FSU fans” – that’s doing an injustice to the people who actually support their entire school. Rather, let’s just call them “FSU football fans.”
Florida fans know exactly who I am referring to. They are the ones you often hear claiming “I don’t even care about basketball” on Facebook and Twitter (see this fan). As the Gators rose to the top of the roundball world this year, FSU football fans became louder and louder with their claims that whatever the Orange and Blue was doing, it just didn’t matter.
The truth is, for FSU football fans, it doesn’t matter. An athletic program’s success is measured solely on one sport. The hard work of hundreds of other student-athletes – all competing with “Seminoles” across the fronts of their jerseys, proudly representing their university – might as well not exist. Remember this next time FSU’s basketball team is ranked in the top 25 and these fans start boasting.
A couple of years ago, during the London Olympics, FSU football fans had a similar reaction to UF athletes dominating the landscape. You’d often hear claims of “nobody cares about the Olympics.” Remember this next time FSU athletes stack gold medals at a future Summer Games.
Now, before an FSU football fan decides to roast this post in the comments, I am well aware that these individuals exist in every fan base. Some teams, however, carry a larger population than others – and a lot tend to reside within Florida’s rivals. This is to be expected. When it comes to athletics, the University of Florida is a benchmark program for the NCAA. While others can’t fully grasp what it means to strive for greatness as a complete unit, Florida fans take pride in the school’s entire sports program.
With the history of success UF has built across its athletic department, the real question becomes this: is it FSU football fans’ fault for reacting the way they do? Is it their fault for being the “nobody cares about that sport” fan? Asking them to understand would be like asking Abraham Lincoln to understand what a hashtag is. If you have never experienced it, how can you truly know what it means. The fact is, there aren’t many sports fans out there who can understand the passion that bleeds within the Gator Nation.
So, next time you run into one of those “nobody cares about that sport” fans, just remember that the University of Florida is the “Everything School.” Gator Nation doesn’t measure its success in just one sport (i.e. football), and it’s difficult for some individuals to understand as much. It’s not their fault; they were born that way.