SEC Pride about much more than just a chant


SEC pride takes a lot of flack from fans in other conferences, but there’s more than just a chant to our conference pride.

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  • If you’ve watched a college football, basketball, baseball or just about any collegiate sport involving a team from the Southeastern Conference, you’ve undoubtedly heard the infamous chant…


    ESPN’s SEC Network even uses a sound byte of fans doing the yell as part of their bumps and promotions on the network.

    To those outside the SEC, the chant and all the conference unity that comes with it is completely alien. They don’t get it, and — to be honest — it irritates the hell out of them. (Want proof, just read the comments from outside the SEC on this article)

    Fans outside the SEC mistake the pulling together of a conference for some sort of misguided love for each other – a kind of forbidden athletic incest, if you will.

    Look, the SEC is as full of bitter, angry, downright nasty rivalries as any conference in the nation. Auburn and Alabama, Georgia and Florida, Ole Miss and Mississippi State…these teams and schools will never…ever…get along.

    However, in the south things are a bit different than other areas of the country.

    Rivalries in the south could best be described as sports-siblings. They’ll fight like crazy with each other, but if someone outside the family tries to mess with them, then look out.

    Fans in the SEC give each other a friendly congratulatory pat on the back when a rival school wins a championship, while at the same time whispering in their ear that all glory is fleeting, and just wait ’till next year, you jackwagons.

    My friend Logan Booker, a Georgia beat reporter for Bulldawg Illustrated, put it quite succinctly in a Facebook post immediately after Alabama fell to Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl:

    "Non-SEC fans are simply clueless. We are NOT rolling around in misery today.We love the culture of the SEC. We know without a doubt that we have the most passionate fans in the sport. We have the biggest stadiums with the nicest facilities and the most loyal followings around. We are friends, family and neighbors for 8 months a year who would give each other the shirt off our backs when needed. When OUR team beats a non-SEC school we chant the letters because we just like rubbing in a loss in a way that makes the opponent feel less superior.But trust us, there are few greater feelings than watching our rival SEC teams get embarrassed by others. We LOVED watching the over-hyped Mississippi schools go down. We were tickled to death when Auburn’s kick hit the upright and we laughed and pointed when Alabama gave up a game-icing 83-yard TD with little time left in the Sugar Bowl. But in the end we have something no other conference does: Southern hospitality and a pride in our region of misconception.And it’s not that we cheered for Ohio State, Wisconsin or TCU, or against our brothers. We just know how to slap our family on the back and congratulate them when they win while laughing in their faces when they lose. So rage on about how “sad and miserable” we are that the “Mighty SEC” has “fallen”.We’ll just bless your little heart and continue to know what we have is special and you’ll always envy it regardless of results on the field."

    Like I said. It’s family.

    It’s this feeling of regional pride, and the conference’s deep-rooted desire to outdo each other in every sport, every tailgate and every drinking contest that made the SEC the strong and dominating conference that it was, and still is.

    Still is? Absolutely.

    Hey look, the SEC may not have had a team in the national championship game this year, and they may not have won the stinkin’ trophy for the last two years. That doesn’t mean the conference is in a backslide.

    It was always inevitable that other conferences would begin to catch up. When the road map is out there, then smart coaches are going to follow it. So the SEC raised the bar once. Don’t you think of a moment it won’t happen again.

    You say 2014 was a “bad year” for the SEC.

    I say the SEC ended with two Top 10 teams in the final Associated Press poll, and six teams in the Top 25. That’s one team shy of half the conference.

    You say the middle to bottom of the SEC is weak, and that the conference is carried by a couple of good teams.

    I say there were only two teams in the entire conference — Kentucky and Vanderbilt — who had overall losing records. As a whole, the conference went 9-10 in non-conference games against Top 40 teams, equal with the ACC and far better than the Big Ten (7-12) and the Big 12 (3-12).

    You say the SEC had a bad bowl season.

    I say the SEC had 12 teams in bowls, and finished with a 7-5 record in those games. Comparatively, the Big Ten went 6-5, the ACC went 4-7 and the Big 12 went 2-5. Only the Pac-12 at 6-3 had a better winning percentage.

    Dec 6, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Alabama fans Dena Brady, left, and twin sister Debbie Green of Oxford, Ala., support the Crimson Tide at the SEC Fan Experience before the SEC Championship at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

    So while the Southeastern conference may not be the champions of the football world, it has far from weakened, and given the direction of recruiting for 2015, will only get stronger.

    The SEC might be different, and outsiders hate them for that. But don’t mistake regional pride and conference unity for love and forgiveness.

    You’ll never hear or see an SEC fan cheering for their rival.

    You’ll only see them congratulating them on a job well done, and for a brief moment, standing tall with them in a show of conference solidarity…

    Then, it’s back to the business of hate.

    Next: Reviewing Georgia's Top Remaining Recruiting Targets