It’s pretty easy to figure out after meeting me that I support the Auburn Tigers. In particular, Auburn football. My desk, my car and even myself has Auburn written all over it. My phone ring is the War Eagle fight song and I wear my Auburn clothes proudly on Fridays at work whether we are winning or losing. I love Auburn football period. But at the end of the day, it’s just football.
I wasn’t born in Alabama. In fact, I was born in the Hoosier state. My family moved to Alabama when I was four to take care of my grandmother after suffering many strokes. Growing up in Alabama wasn’t that bad as I have many friends to this day that I would do anything for. The only time we may have a disagreement is over football. You see, we take our football very seriously and you have to commit to a team early on. I remember the day that I chose to root for Auburn. Two words. Bo Jackson. A fan was born just like that. After junior college, I attended Auburn with plans to get my degree in criminal justice and thought I might attend law school some day. Even at Alabama. My senior year, my mother suffered a major stroke and since I was the oldest, it was my responsibility to take care of her. She lived in California and off I went. I never looked back.
Football has always been a part of my life and just like you, I get mad, I throw things. I bite my nails. A small heart attack every Saturday. Last night before I went to bed, a friend on Facebook who is a LSU fan posted an article about an Alabama fan that hung a sign saying “Finish What Katrina Started”. Wow! Did I read that right? There have been some awful rivalries in football (poisoning the Oaks), but in my opinion, this takes the cake. Doesn’t matter what the person intended. Perception is key and to insult an entire state based on a tragedy is the lowest of the low. I know this person doesn’t represent every Alabama fan out there or football fan for that matter. It just saddens me that this is where we are. Football used to be fun. Tailgating, drinking with friends, traditions, and a little jab here and there. What happened to that?
I love Auburn and always will. I will still watch football every Saturday in the fall and scream at the tv. But at the end of the day, it’s just football. I love my family and friends more. If you have to take supporting your team to a new level such as this young man did and not think about what your actions may cause, then maybe it’s time to support something else. War Eagle!