On Saturday, August 11th, Nathan (@ntruppel) tweeted out perhaps his best idea yet: A Google Chrome browser extension that “fixes” ULL’s transgressions on the internet. You see, Louisiana code specifically prohibits either of the “at” schools in the UL System from calling themselves UL, U of L, University of Louisiana, or anything of the sort. ULM, like a good little boy, follows the rules and doesn’t try to call itself any of those illicit names. Their hot-blooded brothers in Southwestern Louisiana
University? Not so much.
So what does our fancy little browser extension do, you ask? Well, it essentially corrects instances of “University of Louisiana” to include “at Lafayette”, changes “Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns” to “Louisiana-Lafayette’s Ragin’ Cajuns,” and basically solves a problem that is definitely as important as world peace. Let’s take a look at the extension in action:
As you can see, the extension does a really nice job of righting one of the wrongs in college athletics. If you would like to see the bells and whistles that makes this extension work up close, here’s a link to the code Nathan wrote.
Now that we’ve seen the extension in action and taken a look at the coding that went into making it, let’s see how the internet felt about the extension.
Saturday, August 11, 11:00 AM
As can be expected, the internet reacted to the extension in a variety of ways. First, we had our relatively small circle of Tech fans with a knack for silly antics and poorly conceived articles (#gtpddNation; aka our followers on Twitter).
Saturday morning, Nathan tweeted out a link to the extension from the gtpdd twitter account. Initially, our readers like, retweet, and react very positively (surprising, right?!) to the tweet. Here’s a few examples:
Thanks, Tim. I also think it is one of the best things I’ve seen in a while.
Thanks, Ryan. We appreciate all attempts to get the UL system involved here, as well.
We also had some LSU fans hop in to express their gratitude for the extension. Turns out Tech fans aren’t alone in the crusade to keep ULL in their proper place:
Sunday, August 12, 5:28 PM
As of Saturday night, most of the feedback on the extension had come from our circle of readers. On Sunday, however, something changed. Somehow, SBNation writers caught wind of the tweet, and started quote tweeting the hell out of it. The most important of these, IMO, was Steven Godfrey, who tweeted:
That is the single greatest compliment we have ever received. Hats off to you, sir.
You see, college football fandom is about pettiness. It’s about making your in-state foes feel bad for liking their schools. It’s about spending 30 to 45 minutes writing a script that replaces instances of “University of Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns” with “University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Ragin’ Cajuns.” Browser extensions like these are the product of both taking football not too seriously and taking fandom seriously enough to be willing to devote your time to something silly and not so serious. That’s like, the whole point of gtpdd.
On Sunday night, the analytics on our tweet had jumped from a couple hundred impressions to almost 4,000, thanks to Mr. Godfrey and Co. On Monday morning, the extension would enter a totally new territory….
Monday, August 13, 8:03 AM
…Reddit’s college football community. Reddit user furion57, a Kansas State/Clemson fan, posted our tweet to the r/cfb community.
This was nice for us for a couple reasons. The first is that while several of us at gtpdd are involved on r/cfb, we try to avoid posting our own materials (self-promotion is against their rules). The second is that somehow a Kansas State/Clemson fan saw our extension and thought it was funny and significant enough to share with college football lovers at large. Here are some of the reactions from r/cfb:
We even had some users check on ULM to make sure the extension didn’t accidentally change their name to “University of Louisiana at Lafayette at Monroe.” Don’t worry, internet. Nathan came prepared for that.
Monday, August 13, late morning to afternoon
So far, most of the reactions we got on the extension were positive. People seemed to recognize the sarcastic nature of Nathan’s work. Then, the atLafayetters themselves found out about it, and holy crap were their meltdowns totally worth it.
After close study of the ULL fan base, I’ve determined that there are 3 types of ULL fans. One type, like our friend u/keithj, who probably realize that although they hate Tech, this sort of thing is funny and trash talk is acceptable. This type of ULL fan also realizes that losing 8 straight games by an average of 30 points is not the best place to start when it comes to trashtalk, so he waits:
This group of ULL fans isn’t very vocal, so it’s entirely possible that they’re larger than they appear. But let’s just say that keithj’s post was the only remotely not negative one from anyone affiliating themselves with the lil peppers.
The second type of ULL fan is a very, very vocal group that takes everything relating to ULL 100,000,000% seriously and certainly drinks the koolaid that ULL has in their coolers. These are the people who go to bat for ULL, but they don’t really have all of the excuses memorized just yet. This ULL fan sees a silly browser extension that took all of 45 minutes to make and test and post online and exclaims, “You must have nothing better to do, ya basement dweller!”
This is also the group of fans that produces such golden responses as the classic “I’m not mad, I just think it’s funny”:
These fans are topped only by the third category of ULL fans: the seriously deranged. These guys are the Carolina Reapers of Angry Pepper fans. They go above and beyond in their insults of Tech (and probably other schools, too). They ignore empirical data (such as university rankings, endowment per student, graduation rates, and oh, I don’t know, football scores from the last 20 or so years) and come up with some conspiracy theories that put the JFK Assassination to shame. One reddit user–u/cajunhawk–in particular, comes to mind here. He argued with me on the reddit post, and I honestly have no idea how to explain it other than to just display it below in all its glory:
There were also people like this on twitter. I usually don’t engage with these types of people, because if you can get so mad online about something that doesn’t even really affect you, you’re probably not going to argue in good faith or be fun to trash talk with.
Oh wait, I lied, there’s a worse category of ULL fans: the ones that think it’s funny to repeatedly bring up the death of Tech XX.
I honestly don’t think that needs much more explanation on why that’s messed up and goes beyond the realm of reasonable trash talk. You do you, ULL fans, but at the end of the day you’re the one reacting to a silly browser extension by making fun of a beloved dog’s death.
Nathan is a sly bastard. He managed to invigorate Tech fans, increase the gtpdd #brand, provide content that interested the college football community at large, and piss off the state’s most ridiculously annoying fanbase (not that pissing them off is all that hard)–all before college football even starts up! As of now, the tweet has 13,733 total impressions, which is pretty incredible for a fan account that only has 340 followers. Nathan; what a guy. I think I speak for everyone when I say we can’t wait to see what he’ll come up with next from the basement he 100% definitely spends all of his time in.