The growing ugliness among some fans is ramped up by the current 24-hour media world in which we live. Talk radio and the internet afford nutjob fans complete anonymity, which means the rhetoric in the SEC is hotter now than ever before.
Making matters worse, some in the media have learned that ratings and pageviews can be boosted by making outlandish claims and stirring the proverbial pot. Some of the more unscrupulous folks in my profession have no problem playing Jerry Springer in all of this. Apparently bundles of cash in your mattress make sleeping quite easy.
Finally, there’s no reason to dial things down in our day and age.
Fifty years ago, fans would go to a game, see their team lose and become angry. The next day they would read their morning paper and fume. On Monday they might go to the local barbershop and complain to their friends. But by Tuesday, most folks were back in “real life” mode.