Few states boast a football rivalry like the one in the state of Alabama. Anyone who lives or has passed through the state of Alabama in their life time has, most likely, at least heard of the great rivalry between the college football teams of the University of Alabama Crimson Tide and Auburn University’s Tigers. One literally cannot travel more than a couple of miles in the state of Alabama without seeing flags flying for one team or the other. As early as 1893 people began paying tribute to either Auburn University’s team or University of Alabama’s team. While both teams have been number one In college football at one time or another. over the years, fans’ loyalty stands whether their team has a winning season or not.
Families are often divided by which team members choose to support. Imagine a husband and wife team or partners who are cheering for opposing teams at the Iron Bowl. The Iron Bowl is the yearly game between Alabama and Auburn. I’ve heard of couples even sleeping in separate bedrooms after the game, as one or the other was in the “dog house” for crossing the line in showing their team spirit. I’ve seen brother fighting brother over which team was the best. Fans have even been arrested in the last few years for defacing property at the school of which they weren’t a supporter. There’s a fine line between enthusiastic and overbearing! Don’t be that guy.
Overall though, this is a tradition that brings pride to Alabama football culture. With the University of Alabama having one of the most respected and talented coaches in American college football, fans are loyal to a fault. There are a few things we can do to help ensure that team spirit doesn’t come between our relationships:
- Wear your own colors and let them wear theirs. Hey! You wouldn’t wear that ugly color anyway. If your team loses, let the other guys celebrate. Your time is coming.
- Discuss what’s above the line in trash talk. What could be more fun than takings a few jabs at your friend who supports the opposing team? But it’s not hard to cross the line. For example, both mothers and Paul “Bear” Bryant are sacred to people in Alabama. We just know not to go there.
- Don’t take it personally. Remember when your loved one jabs at your favorite team, that it’s only about football.
- Keep the kids out of it. If one parent tries to get a child to pledge allegiance to the team of his choice, it will soon begin to raise question and cause resentment by the other parent. Getting trash talked by more than one family member at a time might end up being a bit too overwhelming.
Just remember when a rival team’s fans are pushing your button, you love these folks despite their misplaced loyalties. If your team wins, get excited! If their team wins…well, maybe…you just ate too much grilled food and need to go take a nap!
I know I said this blog isn’t going to be about which team I root for, but anyone who knows about football in this state knows that the rivalry between the two teams is a big deal. So…I’d like to know which side you are on! Contact me here and let me know!