Seven Types of College Football Fans: Where Do You Fit In?

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November 28, 2015: Oklahoma State Cowboys student fans during the NCAA Division 1 rivalry game Bedlam between the Oklahoma Sooners and the Oklahoma State Cowboys at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Oklahoma (Photo by William Purnell/Icon Sportswire/Corbis via Getty Images)

Seven Types of College Football Fans

When you attend a college football game, you see a variety of football fans. There are generally seven types of fan categories: the students, football families, family fans, casual fans, opposing teams fans, the randoms, and diehard fans. Which, the die hard fans are the easiest to spot; they are the ones that have been counting down to kickoff since January. The college football season is fast approaching, so here is a helpful guide for fan-watching.

The Students

TAMPA, FL – JANUARY 02: Florida fans during the first half of the Outback Bowl game between the Florida Gators and the Iowa Hawkeyes on January 02, 2017, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL. (Photo by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

First up — the students. They will be in various states of dress or undress. They are the line of guys in the front row in full body paint that spells out something you can make sense of once they are in their respective spots.

JACKSONVILLE, FL – DECEMBER 31: Young fans during the TaxSlayer Bowl.(Photo by Aaron Gilbert/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

You will see the fraternity and sorority crew, generally more dressed up than the rest of the crowd. The ladies, donning a dress in their school colors, with matching accessories, of course. While the gentlemen will be in khakis with school logos embroidered on their golf shirts and maybe even their shorts. This crew is there to see and be seen, and will more than likely leave early depending on the score of the game. True student football fans, however, will be dressed in their favorite football shirt, jeans and comfy shoes, with a face tattoo and a pom pom in their back pocket and will be the last ones out of the stadium.

Football Families

HOUSTON – DECEMBER 7: Quarterback Nate Hybl #8 of the University of Oklahoma Sooners is hugged by his parents Tom and Cheryl Hybl after the Sooners defeated the University of Colorado Buffaloes. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This second group is one of the greatest groups; they welcome outsiders with open arms. Most will have big buttons adorned on their chest with pictures of their sons in a traditional football pose. Some will have t-shirts with their son’s name and number. Meanwhile, others will be wearing school-issued gear that they have pilfered from their offspring. They are an enjoyable group to sit next to if you have to attend a football game by yourself. They will even share their snacks.

The Family Fans

COLLEGE STATION, TX – NOVEMBER 24: A Young Aggie fan sits on her Dad’s shoulders before the NCAA football game between the LSU Tigers and Texas A&M.(Photo by Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Third, are the family fans. They move with the grace of a herd of buffalo throughout the stadium. There are anywhere from three to seven adults and twice as many kids ranging in age from birth to preteen. It is like watching someone herd blind, deaf cats as these groups maneuver to their seats. There is always one adult who really wants to be at the game, and the other adults are just there to wrangle the kids, make snack runs, and shuttle the kids to and from the bathroom. If your stadium has one of those cool, green lawns you can sit on — DO IT, especially if you fall into this category. You might actually get to watch the game, and the kids can entertain themselves by running around like screaming banshees.

Casual Fans

MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 30: Female Michigan fan cheers in the stands during the NCAA Capital One Orange Bowl football game between the Michigan Wolverines and the Florida State Seminoles on December 30, 2016, at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, FL (Photo by Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Fourth, we have the casual fans. They are fairly easy to spot as they are usually with a diehard fan. Generally speaking, they are just along for the ride. They will have team colors on because the diehard fan insisted on it. Casual fans will pick up every game day giveaway at the stadium: pom poms, posters, anything they can carry. As a casual fan, they get caught up in the pomp and circumstance that surrounds the game. These fans will attempt to pay attention to the game but are easily distracted by cheerleaders, phones, babies, and everything in between. They clap when the crowd claps, they watch the scoreboard TV screen, they tweet, text, take selfies, and post to Facebook. These are the fans that make a snack run EVERY quarter, and the diehard fan may or may not take advantage of this. The casual fans are harmless and make excellent seat-fillers.

Opposing Team Fans

January 1, 2015: Alabama fan Mike Stancil of Orlando, Fla. is selected for a dance off for a pre game contest during the Ohio State Buckeyes game versus the Alabama Crimson Tide in their College Football Playoff Semifinal played in the Allstate Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, LA.

This is pretty self-explanatory. If they are willing to travel, this is usually a hard core, rabid group of fans. They can range from polite fans to downright belligerent. The level of bearable obnoxiousness will depend on the team they are playing. You will be able to spot them a mile away, as they will have their bodies covered from head to toe of school colors. Some will have hit the tailgate too hard, which will lead to the most belligerent part of this group.

Opposing team fans are fairly harmless, yet there is always one or two in the bunch that will liken the back side of a mule. If their team is winning in the first half and they sing loudly in your ears, just keep smiling. When your team comes back the second half and spanks them like redheaded stepchild, you can smile and wave graciously as they flee the stadium like rats fleeing a sinking ship.

The Randoms

NASHVILLE, TN – DECEMBER 30: Photo by Frank Mattia/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The sixth group up is the randoms. They are different from the casual fan, as the randoms are usually the ones in the stands wearing a team jersey of some random team not even playing, and they usually travel in pairs. These fans went to the bar had a few beverages, deciding it was a great day to go to a football game. Random fans are harmless; they just want to see a good game and have a good time with friends.

The Diehard Fans

Finally, the diehard fans. This group includes alumni and hard core, traveling fans. They will attend several, if not all, games at any cost no matter if it’s home or away. They will start planning their attendance as soon as the team schedule is released. Diehard fans have a complete game day routine, including a tailgate crew and lucky outfit from head gear down to socks and undies. They will even add or remove articles of clothing depending on scoring ability of their team.

GLENDALE, AZ – JANUARY 01: An Ohio State Buckeyes fan cheers during the BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl against the against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 1, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)

Passion is their middle name, and they will fight to the death if you disparage their coach or team in anyway. Diehard fans sit in their seats, pay attention to every play, and even anticipate plays. This group prefers to stand and cheer for the entire game. The referees often get some colorful phrases tossed at them by the diehard fans, such as, “Aw come on ref! Even Stevie Wonder saw that holding call!” A very loud and passionate group, to say the least. Not everyone can attend a game with a diehard. They have strict rules and do not like to miss one minute of the game. If a diehard fan invites you to a game, consider it a privilege and treat it as such.

College Football Fans

No matter which group you fall into, you know the greatness of college football. It is an experience like no other. College football season is the truly the best season of the year. It is also the shortest season in sports, so savor every moment of every game you get to attend. Be kind to the drunk and belligerent. Be tolerant of the randoms and family fans, for they might be diehards in training. No matter who you cheer for, do it with passion and #goteams.

Main Photo

November 28, 2015: Oklahoma State Cowboys student fans during the NCAA Division 1 rivalry game Bedlam between the Oklahoma Sooners and the Oklahoma State Cowboys at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Oklahoma (Photo by William Purnell/Icon Sportswire/Corbis via Getty Images)
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Kate was born in Wisconsin and raised in Texas where she fell in love with all things football. She coached high school football for 12 years. (boys varsity high school-linebackers) She is a 23 year member of The American Football Coaches Association. She is single and lives in the DFW area with her long haired dachshund Coach Landry. She is a newbie at writing but she loves to talk football!

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