07 January 2010

Raising Boys in the Religion of Southern Football

Michael and I are both alumni of the University of Alabama, the same team that will square off tonight in the BCS National Championship game in hopes of bringing home our 13th national title.

We both spent the Friday nights of our respective high school years engrossed in football games. Him, on his high school football team as a starting defensive lineman, and me as a member of my high school's colorguard (stop laughing, it was awesome).

We both attend a few 'Bama games each season, spending pre-game, or any game we don't have tickets to, at Michael's fraternity's house (Phi Delta Theta), in the literal shadow of Bryant-Denny stadium. So close, you can hear the roar of 92,012 stadium fans in the living room.

The white arrow in the top left points to the Phi Delta Theta house, the two on the right point to the Office of Student Media (where I worked on the Corolla staff) and Reese Phifer, the College of Communications, where I spent a copious amount of time, especially my last 2 years.

We would attend more, but our boys are young and we hope by next year, Chase will be able to handle a full day in Tuscaloosa.

That doesn't mean we don't celebrate and cheer our team on at home, not in the least. Along with watching the games and celebrating victories, this football season I began to dress Conner in his #8 UA jersey each Friday for school. It became part of his Friday wardrobe when we won those harder games as a touch of superstition caught hold.

Conner might not be able to feel it himself, but he sees it in his parents - the love for the best football team in the nation. He doesn't understand yet what it means to wear his Sunday best to the student section, or how you could (and I have) cry to the sound of the Rammer Jammer after "The Rocky Block" by Mt. Cody (which I've only viewed a million times on YouTube).

He can't fully appreciate a Homecoming Bonfire, or getting up at 6 am like his father did to participate in the parade. Neither of our boys know what it's like to watch your beloved and famed Alma Mater rise from a few dusty seasons and claim another national title.

But maybe, after tonight, we can tell them they watched it all happen from their living room while they wore their Crimson jerseys.
Roll Tide!

photo courtesy of CrimsonTider.com 


  1. Now that's college pride!!

  2. I remember that too. Conner and Chase ended up watching half the game. Bet they'll remember waking up to us screaming that we'd won!!


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