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September 10, 2010

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

There’s just something about this time of year that makes me feel so alive

alive with the first feeling of a crisp fall morning…

alive with the beauty of the changing leaves and promise of homemade apple pie…

…and alive with the roar of the crowd at a sold-out college football game!

I grew up in the great state of Alabama. From the majestic foothills of the Appalachians to the sandy white beaches of the Gulf of Mexico, with the heart of Southern hospitality and down-home cooking nestled in between…I often just call it “God’s Country.”

Alabama is also the heart of the Bible Belt. Religion may be big there…but so is football. Folks take their football pretty seriously. And allegiance is everything.

I attended The University of Alabama, and my allegiance is to The Crimson Tide. Yep, I bleed crimson, alright!

There’s something really special for me about having attended such a big state school, one that has perhaps the most storied football team in history. With my allegiance comes an awesome sense of belonging, and a fantastic sense of pride.

Having moved with my job, I haven’t lived in Alabama since I graduated college. But all I have to do is flip on the TV during football season…whether I’m a few states away or across the country…and I’m immediately transported home.

The sea of +100,000 crimson and white-donned fans, the roar of the crowd, the familiar songs and cheers…those things are a part of who I am. And it’s such a neat feeling, no matter where I am, to spy someone with an Alabama t-shirt or ball cap, and greet them with a “Roll Tide!” It’s definitely an awesome brotherhood.

Outside of eat, sleep, more, and all done, “Touchdown, Alabama!” was one of the first “signs” the girls learned. I was hoping by the beginning of this season they’d be able to say “Roll Tide!” for themselves. They’re not quite yet there, so I’ve rephrased my question...

Ask the girls, “What’s the Tide gonna do this year?” and they wave their little arms and growl, “Rooooll!

Of course I would love for them to follow in my footsteps and attend The University of Alabama. I’d be so honored to see them traverse the same sidewalks, passing under the exact oak trees that I once did as a student…for them to know firsthand the building where their daddy and I met, and the old mansion just off campus where we got married…

…but I promise I will try my best not to push them too hard in that direction, to let them make their own decisions about what’s best for their future. First and foremost I want them to get an excellent education, of course. And my wish for them is that – even if it’s not my brotherhood – they’ll be able to appreciate a larger sense of community, as I so enjoy.

And if nothing else, maybe they’ll at least wear an Alabama t-shirt in honor of mom now and again.


Anonymous said...

:) i feel the same way with my school up north here!

Dolli-Mama said...

Well said!

Sadia said...

I went to a small liberal arts college (Pomona College), and I feel extremely connected to it and proud of having attended. I did my graduate work at a university with a big football program, and even though I work there now, my heart belongs to my undergrad alma mater. I have always had a hard time understanding why athletics should be such a big deal at an academic institution, and how the college experience can be complete at a big school with such anonymity.

Your explanation of the sense of belonging finally helps it fall into place. Thanks.

Marcia (123 blog) said...

I am soooo not a sports gal but I love the passion of those who are.

Your post made me laugh - I love how you're teaching the girls even now.

And BEAUTIFUL pic :)

MultipleMum said...

I love a bit of footy too - rugby union though in this neck of the woods. Nothing wrong with sharing your interests with your girls. They will take them or leave them in time. I want to know more about the "building where their daddy and I met" too!

Deanna said...

Roll Tide! : ) We are trying to learn a sign for it too...they haven't caught on quite yet, but they love to watch the cheerleaders. I tell my girls they can go to school wherever they want, except for Auburn. (Unless they want to be veterenarians...I might have to make an exception for that. MAYBE.)

Christina said...

Great post! I can hear how much you love it there. That's awesome you got to experience that!!