*Note (This is my first post on my iPad, which is insanely negligent of blogging compatibility and user-friendliness)
I've often wondered in the "Fandom" world, who's actually the better fan for college athletics. The locals or students/Alumni? I've been both and have been thinking lately, "At which stage was I the bigger fan?" These days, fans come in all sizes, shapes and colors. We see the makeup of these fans on game day, blogs, twitter and sports talk radio. But, who's the "King of fans"? I personally grew up in nearby Elmira, NY where Syracuse was and is the king of college athletics. I considered going there, but realized I just wanted to get the fuck out of New York State for a short period of time. So, I ended up at East Carolina University, which fields a modest Division 1 program in Conference USA. I became a fan of the college experience down at ECU, but my heart always was back in Central New York with 'Cuse, even when ECU played and sometimes beat Syracuse during my college years back in the mid 90's.
In one corner you have the local inhabitants who have assumably been brought up on the local teams and bleed their local university colors, thru and thru. In the other camp you have the students/alumni who spend a short window in that arena and participate in the experience during their tenure and possibly thereafter. Both sides have a case and both sides sometimes despise the other. Students and alumni are often bashin' locals as white trash and CNY hicks that continue to wear cargo pants and sport artful goatees. Locals often subject students and alumni as "out of town" douche bags and rich pompous assholes that decided to spend a few years up on the hill and voluntarily subject themselves to CNY winters. *Also, missing many months of college girls wearing little or nothing galavanting around the campus.
Syracuse University paints a pretty good picture of these two distinct classes, so let's rate them on the college football experience.
The locals have the tradition and the tenured spots around the hill. They have years of experience and infrastructure that allow them to pretty much set up "Food Trucks" all along the campus. They generally have better food since they are buying higher quality provisions and not having to use their "meal cards". Most of us aren't "broke" college kids anymore. Most of us.
The students/alumni often have the prettier women that embrace liquid beverages way too early on gameday and are great visuals for the locals. They live in shitty housing that allows them to host "pre-game" conventions without having to hop in a car. Being able to walk earns major points here. Most of the girls that tailgate with the students make bad decisions later because of the early consumption of tasty beverages. For us older guys, our wives and girlfriends will no longer fall for this anymore. They won't "Fall for the banana in the tailpipe routine."
When the Dome is a rockin', don't come a knockin'. The locals have ultimately ruled this domain of fandemoniam. They are usually more hungry, obnoxious, boozed up and clamorous. They just worked five days at the factory and are ready to belly-up to an Orange victory. The locals show true grit when it comes to showing rowdiness on 3rd and long for the opposing team.
The students/alumni do participate in this vehement behavior as well. The problem is that the noise only equals the sum of all parts, and sometimes "all parts" is pretty humble for a student body. I will give props to the students that do rock out, but call over more of your buddies to engage with the foolery.
Fat Bottomed Girls
For being in the middle of one of the snowiest places in the continental United States, the locals bring their share of arm candy to game days. It's no South Beach, but the gals like to show their pride by wearing some pretty wonderful garb for all of us marginally out of shape bastards to look at. I've often given props to CNY girls, their hearty with a chewy crust.
It's college and the term "Coed" has it's place amongst the University. Is this even a close one here? No, college chicks always one-up anything. That's why some fans bring binoculars to the game. They are there for those shady dudes to leer at when they stand in the beer line. College girls truly make the world go round.
The locals in CNY are a very prideful and opinionated group of sports fans. They've been dismissed in the past as fair weather and disdainful. They've shown their true colors when the times were good and have been a little introverted when the teams needed them to show up. Syracuse doesn't have a pro sports franchise and this team is the "All Being" of athletics in this town. *Sorry Chiefs and Crunch, it's a college sports town.
The students/Alumni ride this same bandwagon of fan awareness during the high and low times. When the teams are doing well, they are right in the action and participating showing their passion and allegiance. When times get a little rough, they are sometimes insolent and puffed up. Ultimately they are a good group of loyal sports enthusiasts, that enjoy a good Dome Dog.
Ultimately both sets of fans win here. Athletic events are shared interests of the locals and students/alumni alike. We share the passion and fever for victory and.......Coeds.