Alabama versus Auburn is a National Holiday in Alabama. Surely that’s not the case! But the fact is children and newcomers are asked to commit their loyalty to a team either at birth or within minutes of becoming a resident of the state. It’s simply not acceptable to leave a conversation of this nature by saying, “it doesn’t really matter”. People in this state bleed crimson and white or they bleed orange and blue and there are no exceptions. Friendships are developed and sometimes even severed over the desire to chant Roll Tide or not.
That all sounds quite dramatic but as a long-time Alabama supporter, having a child enter my home and declare his loyalty to Auburn was quite a shock. This little being came into this world with the words “Go Auburn” on his lips even when he still pronounced it “Aubren”. Where did he get this idea that he was going to be the black sheep of the family?
As you approach our home, my Alabama flag waves proudly on one end of the front porch and my husband’s LSU flag on the other. Traveling salesmen have called us a house divided and they were completely unaware of the kid wearing Auburn attire hiding inside. It might seem that with the LSU fan in the house we wouldn’t be quite as concerned with the little guy being an Auburn fan. In reality, it’s not so much the fact that he chose to partake of the Auburn Tigers Tea but that he instinctively made the decision to hate Alabama.
The most amazing part of this family dynamic is that the Auburn fan declared his loyalty and without my knowledge of how or why, he also brazenly cheers for Auburn and whomever is playing Alabama. He was really young, wasn’t even in school yet and game days were a riot. One member of the family watching Alabama games, one watching LSU games and the other chanting for more Auburn Football.
The part that amazes me the most is that he doesn’t cheer for LSU’s opponent. He doesn’t see the need. He does however always cheer for the team across the field from my beloved Tide. Where did he learn such behavior? Don’t worry, he fits in quite nicely in the world of Auburn fans because that’s how they all feel, but who taught him this? Apparently no one had to teach him, apparently being born in the great state of Alabama demands that decisions about football must be made at birth.
Obviously with all the National Championship trophies of late floating around in this state, it’s not hard to see where football fans have viable choices to make. The most amazing part of all though is how no matter which team wins the favor of a fan, that extreme loyalty is often stronger than some political parties.