Reactions to Collins were embarrassingPublished 12:02am Sunday, January 8, 2012
The rematch between Alabama and LSU is just a day away, and I still don’t see a clear advantage between either team, much like the first time.
Unless the game comes down to special teams, that is. In that case, LSU wins in a Reagan versus Mondale-esque landside of epic proportions.
But football fans were treated to a different type of Alabama/LSU battle Thursday night, courtesy of prep star Landon Collins from Geismar, La.
Collins, the top-ranked player in Louisiana and No. 2 safety on Rivals.com’s recruiting network, played in the Under Armor All-American game. During the fourth quarter, Collins announced his choice of which college he would be attending to continue his football career.
The decision was down to Alabama and LSU, and Collins shocked many by picking the Tide over the home-state Tigers.
But even more shocking was the reaction Collins’ mother gave to his commitment — on live television, no less. After Collins announced that he would be attending Alabama during the broadcast, the interviewer asked his mother what she thought of her son’s decision.
His mother said, in so many words, that she believes her son should be attending LSU. Collins played it off as well as he could, but that had to be an awkward moment for the young man.
But that probably isn’t even the biggest story here. The biggest story is the reaction of both fanbases, LSU’s toward Collins, and Alabama toward his mother.
Internet message boards and social media websites lit up following Collins’ announcement. A number of Alabama fans proceeded to call Collins’ mother all kinds of things too vile for me to print. A number of LSU fans, meanwhile, directed their vitriol to Collins himself, saying in essence that he was a traitor to his home state. (That wasn’t all they said, but we’ll skip the details.)
Sadly, the reaction by some from both fanbases points toward everything that is wrong with this recruiting hoopla that has picked up in the last decade. When so much venom is directed at players and their family members over the decision of where some 18-year-old decides to go to college, that’s stepping way over the line, even if you’re the most die-hard fan of your team.
Where Landon Collins chooses to go to school is nobody’s business but his and his family’s. His mother disagreeing with the decision is one thing — it’s something that involves her child. But when a bunch of people that have never even met Collins get so worked up over his college choice, that’s where you draw the line between fan and raving lunatic.
It’s simply not rational for a bunch of grown men and women to care so much about Collins’ college destination that they proceed to trash his mother or the kid himself. Let the family work it out, and stay out of their business. Don’t fill message boards or Twitter with garbage, you’re only making the rest of your team’s fanbase look bad.
Save all that energy for a situation in which it’s actually warranted, such as the game Monday night.