Rolling With the Alabama

Last week ESPN ran an hour-long reality show that went behind the scenes of Alabama football practice. (Full title: Rolling With the Alabama Crimson Tide. But on our viewing guide, it got shortened to the above blog title.) I think it was last week–it all blurs together what with the repeated viewings. My husband recorded it and we watched it three times before I decided I really couldn’t handle a fourth. He could handle a fortieth.

But it’s Alabama football season, ladies and gentleman. Those of you not in Alabama, or at least not in the South, probably have no idea of the implications of this. Once upon a time, long ago, before I knew what I was getting into, I thought that the fact that my husband was a literature professor might make him less likely to be a rabid football fan. (A non-rabid football fan is an extreme rarity in Alabama-raised men.) He is actually extremely rabid. The upper echelon of rabid. And I now watch more football than I did even as a child (my father is also rabid).

For the record, I like football season. Fall is my favorite time of year. At game time you get good food and beautifully chilly days, groups of people brought together…to scream like crazy at the television. Sometimes I could do without the screaming. Although sometimes I enjoy it immensely, if it’s happy-we’re-winning screaming. It’s really fun if you win. It’s the losing that can make the season suck. Not that we had to deal with that least year–National Championship, baby.

But IF there is a loss, both my husband and half a state-full of equally-rabid fans are depressed for days. (The Auburn half of the state is happy, of course, so the state’s overall mood evens out.) I am not a passionate enough football fan to be depressed by a game. I think that’s a sign of mental health, but some would see it as a lack of loyalty.

I’ll say this, too: Everyone should go to an Alabama football game once in their lives. Whether you’re from here or California or Norway. Being in that stadium is an experience unlike any other. It’s wild and thrilling and crazy loud with lights and music and a massive band and whooping and leaping to your feet and you feel a bond with all of humanity. Except the other team. I once saw two middle-aged women nearly come to blows during a game against LSU. The Alabama fan didn’t like that the LSU fan was shaking a pompom in her face. Then the LSU fan didn’t like that the Alabama fan was looking at her. Then there was some brazen shaking of the pompom. Then their husbands had to physically hold them apart.

Roll Tide Roll!

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