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Grantland Takes On ‘New Southern Pride’ (In The Form Of The SEC)

I’m sure you’re all familiar with Bill Simmons new pet project Grantland.com.  In fact, I know we have talked about it on KSR before.  If you are like me, though, it’s a great site for you in theory, you just never find anything interesting on it.  Well late last night Bryan Curtis wrote a piece detailing the bizarre phenomenon of rooting for your conference as a member of the SEC.  The conclusions he drew center around the idea that conference pride is the politically correct version of Southern Pride – an idea that draws its roots from the Civil War. 

Despite the ‘a little too close to racism to be comfortable’ analogy between the two, the article is actually a pretty interesting look at a practice most of us partake in.  He even included a nod to Kentucky chanting S-E-C right up there with Alabama and LSU, so you gotta love that.  As with most things Grantland brings us, it’s well written, easy to read and fosters discussion. 

As far as SEC pride?  More and more the SEC (at least in terms of football) feels closer to a family than it does a conference of foes.  We may not always like what Uncle Les brings to the BBQ, and we might wish those Florida folk would quit trying to bring the mullet back.  But when it comes time for a brawl, family protects family. 

Unless, of course, you’re wearing ‘that throw up orange.’  Nobody wants to see that at the family reunion.

SEC pride, is it valid?  Do you participate in it?  Where do you draw the line?

Article written by Will Lentz

36 Comments for Grantland Takes On ‘New Southern Pride’ (In The Form Of The SEC)



  1. JRA
    6:07 pm September 7, 2011 Permalink

    I am for UK first, any other team from Kentucky second, then the SEC with the exception that I root for the team playing Tennessee!



  2. JRA
    6:08 pm September 7, 2011 Permalink

    I am for UK first, any other team from Kentucky, then the SEC with the exception that I root for the team playing Tennessee!



  3. Joe
    6:12 pm September 7, 2011 Permalink

    SEC pride is overrated

    I hate UT sports in general, generally despise Auburn, lsu, USCjr, UF anything….and am really getting tired of Vandy and Miss. St. hoops and all their sh-t.

    I don’t seem to have much a prob with Bama or Georgia or Ole Miss I guess.

    It’s weird…I am proud of the 5 straight championships for the SEC and hope Bama or LSU makes it 6 – but when it comes to basketball I couldn’t give two sh-ts about anybody but UK and I want to drill each and every one of them.



  4. dan
    6:13 pm September 7, 2011 Permalink

    Tennessee sucks! Go Big Blue and go SEC (besides UT)



  5. PatPattersonISwalkingthruthatdoor
    6:13 pm September 7, 2011 Permalink

    …that “inside of a pumpkin” orange…



  6. Lex07
    6:16 pm September 7, 2011 Permalink

    SEC! SEC!



  7. nawlij
    6:21 pm September 7, 2011 Permalink

    Despite the ‘a little too close to racism to be comfortable’ analogy between the two, WTF??? Just because I am proud to be from the south I am a racist???? Go [email protected] yourself…



  8. ukfaninohio
    6:34 pm September 7, 2011 Permalink

    Living in ohio this is when the sec pride really started.Everyone i knew up here was so sure that ohio st and michigan was the two best teams in the nation me and my dad kept telling them you dont know that because you haven’t played nobody.Then of course michigan gets beaten easily by usc and we all know what happened to ohio st.



  9. Usernametaken
    6:35 pm September 7, 2011 Permalink

    This isn’t a recent phenomenon, is it? It seems like I’ve heard the SEC chant for years, and I don’t even watch football. I’m a basketball fan.



  10. Hawkeye Tim
    6:35 pm September 7, 2011 Permalink

    As a northerner and a UK alum, it’s an interesting topic. I think SEC teams/states think it is by far the best conference—and the longer I am here the more I agree with this opinion. I do think the SEC is weak in basketball—besides UK ( and a short Florida run) who else is there?



  11. JPhelps
    6:37 pm September 7, 2011 Permalink

    Yeah, except the connotation he placed us in the article wasn’t exactly in a positive light. We were kind of a laughing stalk. “Even lowly Kentucky can chant it.” That’s how I took it. I don’t really LOVE that!



  12. Jonah Hex
    6:37 pm September 7, 2011 Permalink

    SEC pride without question. We can pick on and hate each other when we play each other, but will defend each others to outsiders.

    GO SEC!



  13. shields eyes
    6:38 pm September 7, 2011 Permalink

    One thing unites everyone in the conference. Everyone hates Tennessee.



  14. DTR
    6:39 pm September 7, 2011 Permalink

    SEC all day, every day. Even Tennessee. No Auburn though. The whole Cam Newton thing was deplorable.



  15. BlueMark
    6:45 pm September 7, 2011 Permalink

    UK fans can chant “S-E-C” because we know that if we played in just about any other football conference we would win 8+ games a season. Getting walloped year after year by the big dogs, but occasionally shocking one by winning against the odds (i.e., Bama in 1997, LSU a couple of years ago, UGA and Auburn a couple of years ago, USC last year), gives us a sense of belonging, I guess.

    Don’t get me wrong, I have tremendous hatred for most SEC schools in basketball, but in football it’s kinda like getting roughed up by your much older brother but getting a good lick in now and then.



  16. Jay
    6:53 pm September 7, 2011 Permalink

    Tennessee is the one school in the SEC that every other school hates. Think about it. All SEC schools typically root for each other when they are playing out of conference competition. But Tennessee is the exception. Almost every SEC school roots for them to lose.



  17. ZombieLibrarian
    6:55 pm September 7, 2011 Permalink

    I always root for non-conference foes when they aren’t playing UK. I’m a big believer in SEC pride. I do usually root for some teams more than others, though. And I have conference teams I favor over others. For instance, I would love to see UT sweep their out of conference games and go 0-8 in the league. 🙂 I always root for SEC teams in games in bowls or the NCAA tournament, basketball regular season out of confernece basketball games, etc.



  18. Judge
    7:00 pm September 7, 2011 Permalink

    Let’s swap Tennessee for Texas A&M! Put Tennessee in the Big 12, their uniforms works and they talk as big as Texans. SEC will take Texas AM and no Baylor law suit. What is not to like about this?



  19. Tonythetiger
    7:11 pm September 7, 2011 Permalink

    With UK football you have to be a SEC fan and cheer for the SEC because it’s all we can usually hang our hat on in football..I love my football cats but I work with alot of OSU fans…yes, it’s been a fun summer with them ..lol



  20. MikeinLexington
    7:14 pm September 7, 2011 Permalink

    I hate Florida more than any other one, fans are most obnoxious plus they get to live in Florida. Pulled for Georgia and LSU last weekend.



  21. gossie21
    7:22 pm September 7, 2011 Permalink

    I remember SEC! chants at the 1994 Final Four when Arkansas beat Duke. So I don’t believe this is a new phenomenon nor is restricted to football.



  22. GVA
    7:27 pm September 7, 2011 Permalink

    I’ve lived in four different states in the southeast. Most people dislike their in-conference rival, but root for the rest of the league; except for Tennessee. Everyone outside Tennessee hates Tennessee. Half the people in Tennessee hate Tennessee. Screw you Tennessee.



  23. Scuba Steve
    7:31 pm September 7, 2011 Permalink

    Hey KSR could you make it anymore obvious that Grantland.com pays you to promote that crappy site? Gag me, that site is awful.



  24. Really?
    7:42 pm September 7, 2011 Permalink

    I’m a STL Cardinals fan. Never have/never will root for the Cubs-Reds-Brewers,etc. Love the Chicago Bears. Never have/never will root for the Packers-Lions-Vikings. LOVE UK–would NEVER root for a direct enemy from the SEC…ever. The notion of ‘conference pride’ or whatever sounds like loser-talk to me. ‘My team didn’t win, but someone we play every year and compete for talent with did…so it’s all good.’ What a bunch of crap.



  25. UK Lumpy
    7:48 pm September 7, 2011 Permalink

    I was in San Antonio when we won title #7 in basketball 13 years ago . The SEC chant lasted a good 5 minutes before moving onto “We hate Packer”.



  26. Theghostofbillspivey
    7:49 pm September 7, 2011 Permalink

    I must be in the minority cause I don’t hate the vols…., I like the football team from c. Holloway to Channing fugate…., from general neland to Dooley jr. I hate Florida gators the football team to the baseball team !!!! Everyone else out of conference I root for.



  27. Slade
    7:54 pm September 7, 2011 Permalink

    Like everyone else, I draw the line at Tennessee. Anything but that puke orange. It’s like a garbage truck worker convention.



  28. KSR Spy
    8:08 pm September 7, 2011 Permalink

    I root for all SEC teams against teams from any other conference. We have to stick together. Plus it makes my day seeing those guys light up when the Kentucky fan base gets behind them. They never experience that. I remember watching Arkansas play in Freedom Hall before Cal and Co beat Notre Dame. Arkansas had just won and all the blue in the arena was screaming, “SEC! SEC! SeC!”. The fans in the lower sections were high fiving the Arkansas players and patting them on the back. The Arkansas players lit up. Some of them almost looked like they were crying because they were so overwhelmed. Lots of times we forget just how much other schools dont have a fanbase outside of football. If UK got good and won the championship in football…you better believe all the other SEC schools would be chanting. It’s about family. If the SEC is good…Kentucky is good. Is Kentucky good in football? No…not yet. But we are in the SEC…and that makes us stand out.



  29. MtnCat
    8:36 pm September 7, 2011 Permalink

    Slap one of us, slap us all. That’s what family is all about. Yes even the Vols.
    Welcome Aggies!



  30. The Outlaw Josey Wales
    8:36 pm September 7, 2011 Permalink

    Right there with ya Ghost. I have always disliked UF way more than Ten. Actually don’t mind the Vols at all. Rocky Top prob. has a lot to do with it!



  31. Vols Suck
    9:27 pm September 7, 2011 Permalink

    I root for everybody except Tennessee. I hope the Bearcasts beat them by 50 this week.



  32. icecat
    9:28 pm September 7, 2011 Permalink

    SEC all the way, I always pull for every SEC team, its us against the world when it comes to sports.



  33. I luv my SECousins
    10:04 pm September 7, 2011 Permalink

    I think UK fans typically support other SEC teams due to the perception that it makes us look better if the SEC is better. We can always say we lose so many conference games because of the “murder’s row” schedule we have to complete. And yea, we’re just a bunch of racist hillbillies rockin’ the “Southern Pride” shirts while flying the confederate flag in our Dukes of Hazard painted chevette. YEEEE HAAAWWWWWWWW!!!! GOOOO SEC!!!



  34. BigBlueSkyDog
    11:04 pm September 7, 2011 Permalink

    SEC when Kentucky is not playing. I watch most of the bowl games with SEC teams. It is Southern pride. It’s been especially good the last five years because Kentucky has contributed three bowl wins to the SEC. I get sick of all these Yankees always telling us how much better educated they are and how unsophisticated we are. They have no reason to look down on us. Besides any of them who has any sense are trying desperately to move down here because of lower taxes and less draconian government regulations. Even Democrats down here are more conservative than Republicans up there.



  35. DavenderCatTheSequel
    11:58 am September 8, 2011 Permalink

    I thought this all started when Auburn was rooked out of a shot @ the BCS title despite being 13-0. They picked Oklahoma instead citing that the SEC was an inferior conference. After that, the SEC was taking no prisoners. All this Civil War, Jim Crow mularkey is a bunch of rhetoric from a Texan who wished he’d been raised in Greenwich Village.



  36. Rich
    12:09 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    Go Sec except UT. I’m not a dog person either…