When I first moved to the South 10 years ago, my husband Paul gave me a 3 hour discourse on football in the Southeastern Conference (SEC). During this lecture, I learned which teams were in each division, how many non-conference games occur each season, who the big rivals are, etc. I was armed with enough information to have intelligent football conversation with any pure-bred Southerner.
See, we moved from my native Pennsylvania to his native Alabama. And in Alabama, once you cross the state line, you must declare allegiance to either the University of Alabama or Auburn University. I married a Bama boy, so I chose the Crimson Tide. Seemed like a logical choice.
Six years after we were married we moved to Mississippi, and we now live in the same town as Mississippi State University. On game days we can practically hear the cowbells from our front yard. So our allegiances have been somewhat divided in the past few years. Last year was an especially bad year for Alabama, and an especially good year for MSU. We felt ourselves shifting more toward maroon and further away from crimson.
This year, however, we are prouder than ever of the Tide. Tonight they played a hard-fought game against Louisiana State University. They went into the game with a perfect season, and LSU has often been a tough competitor. It was only in overtime that Alabama emerged victorious. Nick Saban is finally earning all that money. Now we're hoping the boys aren't overconfident in the next two weeks. We'll keep watching and cheering....