Sometimes the line between sports fandom and real life gets crossed. And that’s too bad.
South Carolina student Kelsy DeFee knows that all too well in the days following Clemson’s national championship win against Alabama on Monday night. You see, her father, Mike, shares the same name as Big 12 referee Mike DeFee.
The referee Mike DeFee became some what of a national title game celebrity based on his impressed physique.
Some Alabama fans were pretty angry with DeFee and his crew for potentially missing calls on pick plays that resulted in two Clemson touchdowns (we’ll save that debate for a different time). A select few members of the angry Crimson Tide contingency sought out DeFee on Facebook and mistakenly took this South Carolina family as the official and his family.
Kelsy DeFee, a South Carolina student herself, just happens to be a Clemson fan. So is her father. You can see where this is going– The Alabama fans thought the referee was a Clemson homer.
Kelsy posted a message on her Facebook account on Wednesday explaining that she had been bombarded with nasty messages from Crimson Tide fans who mistook her father for the referee and then shared a message linking to her family’s Facebook accounts. You can see both her Facebook message and the erroneous Facebook post that included her and her father next to a picture of the official.
They’re clearly two different Mike DeFees, but some Facebook users raided the DeFee family’s photos on Facebook to use their Clemson fandom as proof that the referee was biased. The referee actually lives in Texas and has no known ties to the Tigers.
SB Nation reached out Kelsy DeFee and got the scoop on how things have gone since she became an unwanted target. She said many Alabama fans have since apologized for being mean about the mistaken identity.
“My dad has literally laughed so hard about all of this,” she wrote. “Honestly so have I! I have just been the one dealing with most of it because I am the one who addressed it on social media. I was a little concerned about being bombarded with a lot of messages and comments at first, but now I cannot stop looking at what everyone is saying!”
Keep this as a reminder, college football can be serious business to fans.