Thought I would take a little break from writing about the NFL and focus a little on college football. Living in the South for the past five years I have really learned to appreciate college football. Growing-up in Southern California and being a USC fan all my life was a total different entity than being a college football fan in Alabama. The tradition down here goes back many years and in the southern lifestyle of college sports it is like life and death to the true southerner.
Back in my days of living in Southern California, we had the rivalry of the USC Trojans and the UCLA Bruins. Occasionally, there was the Stanford Cardinals in the mix but living down here I had to get used to the University of Alabama versus Auburn tradition. These people take this rivalry so serious that families split apart because one side of the family may be an Alabama fan and the other may be an Auburn fan. They even have license plates split in half with the words; A family divided and then has half the license plate with the Alabama logo and the other with the Auburn logo. I have not seen people take their football this serious than when I wore by Oakland Raiders football hat in Seattle and actually received death threats. Or, hanging out in sports bars when I was stationed in the New England area in the military and watching the Patriots get beat by my Oakland Raiders (when the Raiders were once good) and having to almost take on the entire bar in a street fight.
I think when the true southern sports fan is born in Alabama they are ask the question while still in their crib, who are you going to root for? Alabama or Auburn? " On Fridays when companies have casual day during the football season everyone wears their Alabama football jersey or their Auburn football jersey and there has actually been fights in the office over being an either or fan of Alabama or Auburn.
Of course you have the other percentage that may be an LSU fan, a University of Florida fan and so on but to these people these other types of fans are not the true southern college football fan. If you ever get a chance during football season come down to Alabama on a Saturday, it looks like a parade with all the cars sporting their University of Alabama pennants or Auburn pennants flying in the wind as if they were in line at a holiday parade.
I have learned to be a University of Alabama fan. I think I really like Nick Saban from his days which were short lived with the Miami Dolphins but to me he is probably one of the best coaches in college football and now to the true southern fan he is probably up there with coach Bear Bryant.
Saban has really done a good job in turning around the offense of the Crimson Tide and developing the defense. We will see if Alabama can go undefeated this year but even better, we will see if Alabama can beat Florida in the SEC Championship game.
To live in the South is to be serious about college football. To live in the South is to enjoy the deep tradition and history of Alabama and Auburn and learn to appreciate the passionate fans of southern style college football. The question still remains, who are you going to root for? Alabama? Or Auburn? "