It is important to gauge how much those of us who aren't Ricky Stanzi love America. The best way to figure it out is by seeing how many empty platitudes towards your nation of choice you can make.
Those in charge of athletic conferences are amongst the most patriotic, practically on par with Purple Heart recipients. This was just strengthened Wednesday when the old Big East announced its rebranding as the American Athletic Conference.
We decided to take a rundown of America's most patriotic conferences of all time and rank them in order of how patriotic they are. The Justice League of America is not an athletic conference yet, but give it like 12 years.
- USA South Athletic Conference: I bet you're wondering what's so special about this D-III conference based mainly in North Carolina, Virginia, and Georgia. A lot of conferences attach their patriotism to regions - the America East, for example - and that seems almost overly selective. But look closer. Not only does the USA South have "USA" in its name, its acronym is actually the USA Conference. It's the U(SA)SA Conference. It's like one of those things where you have a mirror on both sides of a hallway, and if you look into one they appear to reflect forever and ever and ever and ever, except both mirrors are actually American flags reflecting each other. Bravo.
- Patriot League: I've always felt this Northeastern mid-major conference puts its money where its mouth is. Not just content to put "Patriot" in the name, this one has Army and Navy as full non-football members. So you're damn right it's patriotic.
- Liberty League: This D-III conference comprised entirely of schools in upstate New York used to be called the Upstate Collegiate Athletic Association. Then it remembered freedom.
- Great American Conference: This D-II conference earned demerits for implying that there are things that are American which aren't great. (Also, shout out to the Great America Rifle Conference, which really should be first, to be honest.) (Also, shout out to Six Flags Great America in the Chicago suburbs.)
- Conference USA: I've always been a little bit mad C-USA fans don't cheer "U-S-A! U-S-A!" when good things happen to their conference the way SEC fans do. Although I guess they don't have much reason. (Also, Alabama is an affiliate member of the C-USA due to its women's rowing team. Row Tide.)
- American Athletic Conference: Welcome to the club, guys. As you can see from this list, just throwing "America" into your conference's name doesn't automatically win you prizes. You have to live the dream. The conference's plan to call itself "The American" is a start.
- Presidents' Athletic Conference: Really, guys? Every single president ever endorses this D-III league as the athletic conference of choice?
- The Heartland Conference: City types won't understand why this conference represents everything that's great about this nation. Love the American flag logo, though.
- The America East Conference, the American Southwest Conference, the American South Conference and any other America [region] conferences.
- The Yankee Conference and The Dixie Conference: If you combine them and remember that we must always remain united, that is.