You don’t need to be a diehard college football fan to know plenty of people across the United States take that particular pastime very, very, very seriously.
There are plenty of sports featuring some fairly rabid fanbases, but if you’ve spent more than five minutes browsing a message board devoted to a particular program, you likely have all of the evidence you need to know college football fandom could arguably be defined as a “sickness” based on the strange way it makes people behave.
After all, we’re talking about a game that once drove a diehard Alabama fan to poison the iconic trees that loom over Toomer’s Corner to get some misguided revenge on Auburn. However, that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the many examples of College Football Fans Behaving Poorly.
Social media has made it easier than ever for fans to voice their displeasure with opposing players and the guys on the team they root for. Those platforms may be a valuable asset for student-athletes in the NIL Era, but anyone who maintains an online presence is just asking to be exposed to the toxicity that sadly tends to be a package deal.
As a result, it’s hard to blame former Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud for opting to avoid social media during football season while he was playing for the Buckeyes. However, it turns out some of his haters went to some truly wild lengths to troll him online.
During a recent conversation with Jim Rome, the QB revealed there was only so much he could do to avoid being harassed on Venmo, which was apparently the platform of choice for more than a few of his critics:
“For me and my teammates, man, being at Ohio State, if you have any source of social media or type of technology, Ohio State fans have it.
So, man, I was getting DMs—I don’t have social media throughout the season—I was getting DMs on Venmo, the money app, from fans telling me, ‘Play better,’ things like that.”
College football is a mental illness.