So I was having a convo with my pops about this topic the other day....in a different sense. We were rehashing our Florida-Miami NCAA Baseball Super Regional experience in Gainesville about 7 years ago and, like any good Gator would do, he was critical of the allegedly boisterous Hurricane fan base that descended on Gainesville for the series. Can't necessarily blame him....there were some irritating Hurricane fans. I countered with my experience at the 2002 Miami-UF football game in Gainesville when I was in law school at the U. Now, just for a little bit of background, I'm not a particularly big guy nor a loud guy. I'm probably an easy target for someone looking to raise a little cain on. Anyways, I was walking with 3 of my friends from law school to our gate outside of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium amongst throngs of Gator fans, when a loon walking past us with a group of his fellow fraternity mates slammed two hands into my chest, sending me flying into my friends and on my back. My cheap-shot assailant followed with a "go home, (bleep)", and they went on their way laughing. We just overpaid greatly for tickets and weren't looking to miss the game or go to jail, so I/we swallowed my/our pride and went on our way into the game.... which turned out quite favorably for the Hurricanes to the tune of a 41-16 blasting.
To the contrary, perhaps some of you have taken a road trip for your team and been blown away by the hospitality and courtesy of the host group of fans. For example, I was treated with the utmost respect and cordiality by the Notre Dame fans when my friends and I went up to South Bend for the 2005 Tennessee(my undergrad alma mater)-Notre Dame tilt. Students and alumni alike, the Irish fans' loyalty for their team and respect for the opposing fan base was unmatched. We were invited into multiple tailgates by kind Irish fans who just wanted to find out a little bit more about the Vols and talk some football. Truly a fantastic experience.
Also, as a disclaimer, I realize there are great and terrible fans within every team's fan base. This article is not intended to take a shot at a school or indict a group of fans as generally horrible. It's just a medium to share experiences amongst our fans/readers.
Now, for a little bit of clarity, I'm looking for not just college, but also fans of professional teams as well. Some of you are transplanted Buccaneer fans who've undoubtedly been to opposing stadiums to support our Bucs and have probably been subjected to some surprisingly amicable encounters, along with some unpleasant circumstances. College or pro, whatever the case may be, what are the most memorable positive and negative experiences you've had with an opposing fan base? Sound off, Buc'Em readers...