Charles Barkley acknowledges that the SEC is the best conference in college football, but he wasn’t nearly so complimentary to SEC fans.
Barkley was a guest on ESPN Radio’s “Russillo and Kanell” on Friday, and he had plenty of things to say about SEC fans and the conference in general. Danny Kanell, one of the show’s hosts and a Florida State alum, fosters a well-known dislike of all things SEC, and Barkley understands his perspective, at least as far as the fans are concerned.
“I think that the SEC kind of makes you hate it because the fans are so obnoxious,” Barkley said. “I can understand why people don’t like the SEC. I think clearly it’s by far the best football conference in the world and I think Danny (Kanell) will admit that. But I will admit this, the fans are the most obnoxious people.”
Barkley went on to identify the worst fan bases in the SEC, giving Alabama the dubious honor of having the most obnoxious fans in the conference. Barkley also mentioned Georgia, LSU and Florida fans as being nearly as obnoxious.
According to Barkley, Alabama coach Nick Saban is the very best coach of all time, but it rubs Barkley the wrong way that, when he tells Alabama fans they’re obnoxious, they don’t even try to defend themselves.
“… When I tell Alabama fans they’re the most obnoxious fans in in the world, you know what they say to me? They don’t even say, ‘No we’re not,’” Barkley said. “They say, ‘We’re not as bad as those LSU fans.’ They never take the time to say, ‘We’re not the most obnoxious fans.’ They never try to defend themselves. When they say, ‘We’re not nearly as bad as those LSU fans,’ they let you know just how bad they are.”
Barkley does, of course, have a particular reason to hold a grudge against Alabama fans. He spent his college years at Auburn, averaging 14.1 points and 9.6 rebounds per game.