Choose Ye This Day!

Posted on November 25, 2011


I recently watched the documentary Roll Tide|War Eagle on ESPN and since the Iron Bowl is going down this weekend I thought I’d render my thoughts on the storied rivalry.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Iron Bowl, it’s a game played between the University of Alabama Crimson Tide and the Auburn University Tigers. This rivalry began in 1893 and is considered one of the toughest in college football. The game was played mostly in Birmingham, Alabama and was coined the ‘Iron Bowl’ because of Birmingham’s role in the steel industry. Alabama leads the series 40-34-1.

For more info on the ins and outs of the rivalry I suggest you watch the documentary on ESPN or google it because it runs deeper and longer than I can put into words. Friends and family are divided; you either wear crimson or orange and blue. It’s an allegiance that I can’t describe, but I love to watch it unfold every year.

As a female sports fan sometimes I approach the game like a woman and other times I approach it as a fan. As a woman I’d like to think that the sports gods are on my side and purposely allowed Alabama to fall from glory, last year, simply because the man I was dating (who happened to be from Alabama) pulled a fast one on me. As a sports fan I know the pain and agony that’s associated with a painful loss, so the woman in me reasoned that if a man hurts my feelings his team should suffer. So Bama first lost to the South Carolina Gamecocks, taking them out of the hunt for the National Title and then they lost to Auburn.

The Iron Bowl is pretty much the states title game so watching them fall again brought me great joy. I jumped up and down on my couch with glee…now those of you who know me know I’m not a bitter person, I’m obnoxious and there is a huge difference. Something in me felt vindicated even if I had nothing to do with it, the score was settled in my book! Thank You Cam Newton! Not only did they upset The Tide, but they went on to win the 2010 BCS National Title. I obviously wanted Oregon to win but knowing that Auburn took that crystal football home meant so much to me.

Fast forward to September 2011. My friends got married in San Diego, California and the night before the wedding we went out to party one last time. I met a man who made it a point to let me know that his Alabama roots encouraged his love for black women. Lol…I looked at him and said, “Alabama huh? So which squad do you roll with?” I apparently caught him off guard because he replied, “oh I don’t like football.” Now anybody in their right mind knows that’s a lie. In Alabama there is God and Football and on Saturday Football is God. I looked at him and said, “Bzzzz wrong answer boo. First of all you’re lying and if you can’t choose a side then you aren’t the man for me.” His friends all started cracking up…I was clowning around but what most women don’t know is that you can tell a lot about a man by assessing his allegiance to his team. I ride for the squads I roll with, and any man that’s a die-hard fan from the state of Alabama would cut me off before I finished my question. The answer is either Roll Tide or War Eagle…insert expletives as you see fit. Lol.

About two weeks after the San Diego incident, I met another man in Oakland who is also from Alabama. (Ladies I don’t know  what it is but yes I seem to attract men from Alabama….haha what do you want from me? My dad is a southern gentleman too.)

Anyway, upon meeting him I posed the same question to which he immediately said, “Well since I’m in Cali I support my state.” That’s not true… I know better! So I let it slide and then asked, “The Iron Bowl is on the line… a minute left…which side are you on?” As I anticipated he cut me off. “I’m rolling with the Tide…No Doubt!” Now I can respect that!

So here we are a day away and because the BCS is a bunch of crap somehow Alabama sits at number two again. Now, I’m obviously over the aforementioned incident but me being me, I have to go against the grain. I won’t live it down if Bama wins this year’s Iron Bowl or anything else for that matter. The Tigers don’t look as strong this year against the Tide but an upset would rearrange the BCS Standings (in my favor) for sure. I think I just really want the pleasure of telling my Bama-obsessed friends that their squad really isn’t all that! (That’s the woman in me ahahaaha).

The sports fan in me actually appreciates the Iron Bowl’s rich tradition. I enjoyed the documentary on ESPN and while I can’t say that I’d ever poison any trees, dress a statue in the opposing team’s jersey, call the radio station to curse out the other callers or name my first born child Bear Bryant…I can say that I respect women in Alabama who proudly wear their team’ s colors even if their husbands don’t agree. Only football could cause families to draw lines in the sand, divide an entire state and then bring it together in the midst of tragedy. There is something to be said about people who can shout boldly without hesitation ROLL TIDE|WAR EAGLE.

Sometimes I think fans in California could stand to learn a thing or two from our southern counterparts. We tend to jump on and off the bandwagon, but in life sometimes we are forced to choose a side and stick with it.

One day I will attend the Iron Bowl just to take in all of the sights and sounds of the rivalry…maybe it should go on my bucket list.

I will probably catch a lot of heat for it, but Saturday, I’m pulling for Auburn…which side do you choose?


Posted in: Football, Sports