Football in Bama
Alabama has many things to offer, a beautiful coastline, wonderful people who are welcoming and friendly, and some of the most devoted football fans in the world. No Alabamian is too young or too old to share in the excitement of game day in Bama.
A Fan is Born
There is a little known fact about being born in Alabama. Each child is born into the state as either an Alabama Crimson Tide, or as an Auburn Tiger supporter. Parents, while waiting on the arrival of the baby are busy gathering all the supplies that a newborn will need once they arrive. These items include bottles, diapers, blankets, a pair of booties and their first Tide or Tiger piece of fan wear.
When looking at baby pictures, it is hard to miss which team the baby was born to support. Many of the in-hospital newborn pictures attest to this fact by showing the infant sporting one piece of orange and blue or crimson gear.
New born babies attend football games decked out from head to toe in the colors of the day. Tiny tiger tattoo's on the infant's cheek assuring that no one believe they have a secret Tide fan in the family.
Babies sit on their mother's laps wrapped in a crimson and white blanket with a tiny visor to keep the sun out of the baby's eyes.
The state loves their football rivalry and there is no one too young to participate.
Saturday is Game Day
Bright and early Saturday morning, the Facebook news feed begins to show the building football frenzy. That same news feed begins the countdown to both games. Announcements of where the fans will be for the game let all the Facebook friends know if they are attending the game in person, having a football party at the house, or will be watching out-of-state from an online feed.
The score predictions fill the screen and a few well-intentioned taunts to the other team , this alone is enough to incite a barrage of comments and good-natured jokes, proving once again that the fans are reaching fever pitch as it gets closer to the magic moment known as kick off.
Once the games begin, even those that are not able to view the game become aware of every worthwhile play. The status update announcements begin, unpaid running commentary on all the fumbles, touchdowns, and especially the bad calls. The entire game plays out play by play on this social networking site for everyone to share.
Fall Means Football in Alabama
There is something nostalgic about this entire scene. Having left the state almost eleven years ago, reconnecting to old school mates, family and friends through Facebook has brought the game day fever back into my life. There is something endearing to seeing the taunts, the excitement and the pride scrolling down my Facebook page. Even when unable to catch the game on ESPN or one of the other sports channels on cable, the score is easily available through Facebook updates on the phone or computer.
The decking of the infants in college logo clothing is not new. My family provided me as a small girl my own Alabama elephant to sleep with. He was very sturdy, his big red ears provided a way to carry him around while playing during the day. At night he was with me and after a quick perilous ride on his back around the bed to make my sister laugh, he snuggled down with me ensuring that all was right with the world.
Football season always takes me back to my great-grandmother. We would wake up early and drive down to visit her in Mount Olive. Taking the back roads it seemed like she lived so far away. Upon arriving we would all pile out of the car and gather on her front porch while my mother rang the bell announcing our arrival. When you entered the house the first thing that was apparant was the noise. Following the sounds of excitement, The announcers voices would draw us to her color television where the game was showing live in her living room.
Crossing the living room we would all sit on the couch facing her while she relaxed in her recliner with her hand crocheted afghan across her lap. School pictures would be shared while sharing small talk about the family. She would stop talking when tense plays occurred and following her lead, we would all look over to the console tv and wait for the play to end before continuing with our conversation. After the play the adults would analyze the play and speak about all things football for a few minutes before picking up the other conversation right where it ended.
Now to those that did not grow up in Alabama, this might seem rude and chaotic. To my family and many other families that play out the same scene on a weekly basis, it did not seem rude, it was simply Saturday, game day in Alabama.