I spend most of my life in the sports world whether covering football, playing basketball or watching soccer. And as much as I love sports, there are some instances in all that time that can make me cringe.
Over the last two weeks, I have heard “overrated” chants from two separate student sections directed at teams or players who were clearly not overrated. And my problem is not with calling someone overrated. My problem is with calling someone overrated and, while doing so, undermining your own team’s accomplishments.
This has been a pet peeve of mine for a long time and I can even remember shutting down chants from student sections I was a part of in high school because it truly makes no sense.
It might be the worst thing crowds can chant during a sporting event. (I would say it’s the worst thing crowds can do but the wave still exists for some reason and that’s clearly the worst thing.)
This seems like it is a simple concept to understand but for some reason, crowds continue to go with the overrated chant as a way to heckle the opposing team. Let’s try to make it clear why that doesn’t make sense.
If your school or favorite team is beating up on someone who is highly ranked, wouldn’t it make more sense for you to say the team is appropriately ranked so the win looks better? By saying the other team is overrated, you are saying your accomplishments actually aren’t as good as they look.
This really bothered me this past Friday night when Marbury students chanted “overrated” at Holtville quarterback Drake Baker. Baker is a three-star recruit and has battled injuries the last two seasons to help put Holtville on the high school football map.
Meanwhile, one bad decision and a bad throw leads to an interception and six points for Marbury. So the students resorted to chanting overrated instead of saying their defensive back actually made a good play and intercepted a three-star quarterback who is probably going to play somewhere in Division I.
Of course, Baker ended up totaling more than 300 yards and accounted for two scores while clearly being the best player on the field but I’m sure that did not matter to the student section that just wants to chant nonsense. A similar thing happened the week before when the Wetumpka student section chanted overrated at No. 2 Muscle Shoals when the Indians took a 12-7 lead in the first quarter.
Muscle Shoals responded with 29 straight points because of course it did and that’s probably an appropriate punishment for that chant.
There is not a lot more to say about this but it seems fairly obvious to me, and I hope to all of you now, that chanting overrated will never make sense for the team chanting it. Now was just a good time to bring it up with what has occurred over the last two weeks plus basketball season is approaching and that is when you hear it most often.
And make sure to remember this when this week’s Alabama-LSU game ends in a blowout because if your team wins, you want to say the other team was appropriately ranked so the win looks even better.
If we work together, we can put a stop to the overrated chant (and the wave). I believe in us.
Caleb Turrentine is a sports writer for The Tribune.