Everything that you’ve ever heard about fanaticism over college football in the state of Alabama is true. It can get kind of crazy.
Mom and Dad both graduated from the University of Alabama, and Ben and I used to be able hear them screaming for the Tide during the games…and we’d be clear across the pasture.
I’m the same way. I love myself some Alabama football. Oddly enough, my parents never took me to a game when I was a child. It was probably too expensive.
No, the first time that I stepped foot on Legion Field or Bryant-Denny Stadium was when I marched in there. I was in the University of Alabama’s Million Dollar Band. (Love to write the whole thing out…it’s just so sounds so grand.)
Over the years, though, I have a different perspective. When I think of the University of Alabama and the Crimson Tide, I mostly think of memories. It’s not just about football, you see. I think of the Quad (quadrangle), Denny Chimes sounding across the campus on a frosty morning, the Dogwoods in the spring.
I wonder if most people know that it is an institution of higher learning. That there are lovely buildings with Greek-revival columns. That we have an amazing school of communications, business, education, and so forth.
Sometimes the whole silly rivalry thing gets me frustrated. There have been times that I’ve mentioned my school, and someone has said, “There’s just one thing that I don’t like about Bama…” And then they’ll go on to say something like we’re just a bunch of rednecks or that someone keyed their car at a Bama game or something.
One time, my dad was in another state, wearing an Alabama cap. Some random guy said to him, “Alabama (meaning the football team) hasn’t got nuthin’ this year.” At least Dad calmly said, “We’ll see.”
Some of the nicest people just seem to forget the Golden Rule, when it comes to college football.
People. It’s just a game.
Speaking on the other hand, a loony Alabama fan went over to our biggest rival’s (Auburn University) campus one night. And do you know what he did? The man went to Toomer’s Corner, and guys…he poured poison over their old oak trees that Auburn rolls with toilet paper after big wins.
As a big tree-hugger, I (and most other law-abiding Alabamians) was appalled. Rolling Toomer’s Corner was a lovely and fun tradition that has been going on forever.
I really do like Auburn, even though we are big rivals. If someone offers Princess Buttercup a scholarship there one day, I’ll be like, “War Eagle, baby!” Not to mention, my brother Ben and his wife graduated from there. It’s a beautiful campus, and it has its own uniqueness about it.
But back to the state of AL and its love of football. Rivalries are fun, but the insanity is not unique to the south.
Brazil vs. Argentina and Liverpool vs. Manchester United – England (soccer), Australia vs. New Zealand (rugby), Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier, the Tour de France, Wimbledon… comes to mind.
So whoever you root for this week end, let’s just be nice.
And Roll Tide!
[Click http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEg7GRiZWyA to hear our fight song.]
Woooooo Pig, Sooie!
Go Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, Chris Fowler!