Two fans of the Southeastern Conference of the United States Collegiate Football League sit in their man cave, a spectacle displaying memorabilia from the University of Missouri, Florida, Mississippi and neon Budweiser signs mixed in with leather decor and a 97 inch high definition television discuss who they’re going to cheer for in the upcoming 2018 National Collegiate Athletics Association Football Championship.
The playoff committee has selected the University of Alabama and the University of Georgia among the top 4, two teams that the gentleman both despise beyond measure. The thought of both teams making the final, a likely scenario, makes their blood boil and their heads filled with anguish.
“I can’t believe two of these devils made the playoffs,” exclaims person A (let’s call him Sick Naban), “Maybe I just won’t even watch the championship this year. It won’t matter who I root for, either way, I’m not going to be happy.”
“Well what about Oklahoma, or maybe Clemson?” inquires person B (who shall be dubbed Smirby Kart). “They could go to the championship.”
“Clemson will never get enough points to win,” moans Sick continuing, “they just don’t have the players or the support of Alabama or Georgia, and I don’t see any way they can compete.”
The two fans rise from the couch to obtain more beers and potato skins. While waiting for the microwave to cook the cheese-laden spuds, Smirby again encourages Sick to look at the other options.
“Well how about Oklahoma? Their quarterback is breaking all sorts of records and is surely going to win the Heisman,” Smirby suggests, “perhaps they have a good shot at making the championship?”
“No way, despite Baker Mayfield having a great year, he’s swore at fans and grabbed his crotch at other teams and just, in general, seems like an odd guy,” Sick declared with fervor.
“Sure he may be a little odd, but just imagine what he could do if he got the support of everyone who hates Alabama and Georgia,” says Smirby longingly.
The microwave pings as the frozen potatoes finish cooking, and Sick grabs them quickly, burning his hand and nearly throwing them at Smirby, in order to avoid responding to Smirby’s suggestion. They return to the couch with the TV tuned to Sportscenter discussing the rest of projected bowl game contenders.
“If I decide I’m going to watch the championship game, I want to at least have a shot at supporting a winning team,” explained Sick. “I’ll probably end up doing that anyway since I know neither Clemson or Oklahoma are going to win.”
Sick lowers his head and depressingly stares at the potato skins. Smirby places his hand on his friends back in support.
“Maybe you can still feel satisfied rooting for a team that you know might not win. Maybe the point of watching the playoffs isn’t to be a part of a winning fanbase, but cheering for a team you truly feel is the best. I think it’s more important to have your voice heard and display to the world why your team can win because they are who you believe in. Because they are who you believe deserves to win.”
Sick Naban lifts his head slightly and turns it towards Smirby with a faint glimmer of hope.
“And maybe next year your team will be back and they will make it to the championship this year without Alabama and Georgia looming. It’s not so much important that you support a team you know has a chance to win, but that you do so for one that you know deserves to win even against insurmountable odds,” exclaimed Smirby leaping to his feet in exuberance.
A smile creeps onto Sick’s downturned face as he looks up at his friend, and he states “you’re right, you’re right. I was so worried about being left out and wasting my support that I was willing to sacrifice what I believe in. I love Baker Mayfield, and I’m going to cheer for the Sooners! Odds of making the championship be damned!”
Sick lunges at his friend to embrace him. After a moment, they both return to the couch, a new sheen of optimism painted upon their faces. They watched through the rest of the bowl selections in silence knowing that they were satisfied with their choices.
“I guess we should go get some Oklahoma threads to support them,” said Sick.
“Oh, I’m actually hoping Clemson makes it,” shockingly said Smirby, each word getting quieter in anticipation of his friend’s reaction.
The collegiate football playoffs arrive. Georgia defeats Oklahoma in a stunning, high-scoring display while Alabama gives Clemson a thorough beating. Sick and Smirby sit in a booth at G. Johnsons pub, enjoying the pregame festivities for the championship game.
“So, here we are,” said Smirby. “Neither of our teams made it to the final and the two devils are competing to see which is king.”
“Indeed. I’ve seen many of my friends say they’re going to root for the Bulldogs because they’d rather see them win than have another Crimson Tide champion,” states Sick. “And you know what, I almost considered doing the same, but I know Oklahoma will be back and when that happens, I’ll be the loudest fan there for their playoff run.”
Smirby smiles and gives a quiet chuckle.
“You’ve grown my friend, even if you do support the wrong team,” quipped Smirby.
“We’ll see who has the wrong team next year,” replied Sick.
The fans returned their games to Johnson’s television and waited to see who would rule the college football landscape for another year.