I grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, a huge football worshipping city. Here you meet people who, when making new friends or meeting new neighbors, are almost always categorized into one of two groups: “They’re For Alabama,” or “They’re For Auburn.”
The importance of this categorizing ranks right up there with “They’re Baptist,” or “They’re Methodist.” I rarely met anyone who would be placed in the category, “They Don’t Follow God,” but I neverevenonce heard anyone categorized in a “They Don’t Follow Football” group.
When finally reaching the age of accountability in football team loyalty, I rebelled against my family’s choosing. Until that age, knowing no better, I was placed in the “They’re For Alabama” group, my family pledging my support of the Alabama Crimson Tide Football Team. Like everyone else in this category, I shed a tear in the eighties when Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant passed away. I even remember where I was when my classroom was delivered the tragic news of his death.
But rebels being the way they are, I joined the “They’re For Auburn” group around the age of fourteen, and pledged my support to the Auburn Tigers Football Team. And I’ve screamed “War Eagle” ever since. And I did this is during a time when almost every Alabamian followed the Alabama Crimson Tide Football Team.
But not on days like today. Even in the midst of the bitter rivalry ranking up there with an Alabamian’s belief in the Almighty, I choose to scream, “ROLL TIDE,” and hope to see Nick Saban lead his Alabama Crimson Tide to victory against the Texas Longhorns in just under two hours, fifty minutes. The Tournament of Roses National Football Championship Game will determine the National Football Champs for 2010, and I just know that the Alabama Crimson Tide will prevail.
My husband, a lifelong Alabama Crimson Tide follower, and my two daughters with him, and their three children being taught to scream the same, will all be supporting Nick Saban and his SEC Champion Team..
But I’ve been secretly teaching the grandchildren that they have a choice in the matter, the same way my grandmother did with me. They can choose to follow the Alabama Crimson Tide like their family wishes, or they can rebel, like their grandmother did, and follow the Auburn Tigers Football Team and scream, “War Eagle!”.
And it’s going to be one hell of a football game today, one day that is unlike many football watching days because we scream with one united voice, “ROLLLLLL TIDE!”