: the condition of having a right to have, do, or get something
: the feeling or belief that you deserve to be given something (such as special privileges)
Much to the chagrin of a few of our regulars, I have suggested that “entitlement” is a condition that affects a large portion of the current Alabama fan base. Needless to say, this is a bit of a polarizing viewpoint that has a tendency to create a significant negative reaction among those inflicted. Alabama fans have come to expect great football as a birthright, but at what point do expectations turn unhealthy? I think this is worth exploring.
Look, it’s been discussed plenty around here how Bama fans don’t always carry the best reputation. Whether it’s throwing a brick through Bill Curry’s window or poisoning trees after Auburn would dare win the Iron Bowl, it’s safe to say that we can claim at least a couple of lunatic fringe national championships. I would submit that a sense of entitlement drives these types of things more than anything else. Some folks believe that Alabama should never lose to Auburn under any circumstances and act like the world is ending when it happens. Yeah, I know, I no longer live in Alabama and therefore don’t have to deal with Auburn fans. Still, it’s football, people. Some perspective is in order.
As far as the interactions on RBR, what bothers me most is irrational criticism. Some of the stuff I read is just silly. One commenter last night said that Bama played the first half disinterested as they rolled up 360 yards of offense in two quarters. In discussing all the turnovers, someone else pointed out that we have seen those mistakes “all year” despite the fact that the team had the fifth fewest turnovers in the nation. What I saw last night was a team that played hard but made some mistakes against an opponent that was well-equipped to take advantage of its weakest areas. Nothing more, nothing less. Our men played a football game and came out on the losing end. It happens. It just happens to Bama fans a whole lot less than anyone else over the past few years. This year's team was not flawless by any stretch but folks, we are still living in a golden age of Alabama football. Our beloved Crimson Tide has won exactly 90% of its games over the past three seasons playing in the SEC. Would anyone care to guess how many other college football programs have matched that over the same period? I would dare say that anyone who truly considers this a disappointment suffers from entitlement issues.
To be clear, I am thrilled that we are able to have the expectations we do. As a college football fan, it doesn’t get much better than seeing your team favored in every single game it plays, and usually by double digits. Whether they wish to acknowledge it or not, we are the envy of every other fan base in the nation right now. Let’s remember, however, that there is another team on the field with us each week that wants to win the game badly. Like our team, they have worked hard. They have watched film, practiced, devised a strategy that they believe will put them in the best position to win. In the two most recent games it has worked, and as an Alabama fan I’m not one bit happy about it. As college football fans, however, I hope we can appreciate the effort put forth by the young men we cheer for and the great play by our opponents without feeling like something was stolen from us. We will lose again. We will lose again to Auburn. We will lose again in the last game of the season. If it continues to happen less than ten percent of the time, sit back and enjoy the ride. These are the good times.