WARNING: THIS BLOG IS NOT REALLY ABOUT WORSHIPING GOD - BUT YOU COULD SAY IT'S ABOUT WORSHIP SEASON IN ALABAMA!
I am so excited! College football season is about to start. I know that many wives dread this but I love spending Saturdays with my husband watching ballgames. We start our Saturday mornings with ESPN Game Day to see which "head" Lee Corso will put on and then proceed to watch EVERY college game that is on that day. It doesn't matter who it is, we watch them all! Phil calls January 1-4 the "most wonderful time of the year!" and watches sometimes two tvs at once. Tomorrow night we kick off the season with the LSU vs. Mississippi State game. My husband Phil attended LSU for a while and is a big Tiger fan but we would watch anyway.
I was weaned on BAMA football and attended my first game when I was 9 months old. I used to sit on the mailbox outside the old Student Center to watch the Homecoming Parade and I have strolled across the Quad more times than I can count always loving the sound of Bryant - Denny Chimes. In our family you learned to say "Mama", "Daddy" and "Roll Tide" - in that order. My grandmother was raised in Tuscaloosa and my grandfather was the first member of his family to attend college and he went to - you guessed it - Alabama. We lived on campus for a while in Rose Towers when I was a little girl and my mother's entire family all went to what my grandparents very seriously referred to as THE University. Obviously anyone would know which school they were talking about! We attended games every fall and listened to or watched every game. In the fall our schedules were determined by when Alabama was playing. I was so proud of my Bama jacket and shakers and the hat my grandmother made me to wear. Two big events of my childhood were attending the Orange Bowl and the Sugar Bowl. Alabama football was a SERIOUS thing in our family. My father would not eat on the day of a big game because he got so nervous! You were never allowed to joke about being for another team unless you wanted to risk being asked to leave the room. And we NEVER watch the Alabama-Auburn with Auburn fans - this is serious business and no time for socializing with the "enemy"! When my first cousin decided to attend the Univeristy of Florida, my uncle said "Go ahead, but my money only goes to Tuscaloosa!". Phil knows that I truly loved him because I gave up attending THE University to stay home, marry him and attend UAH! When our son Philip went down to T-town for orientation I called my grandmother to tell her something and she said "We are so proud of Philip!" - just for attending U of A. I had to laugh! So you see, college football, and Alabama football is truly a part of my heritage.
Here I am in my Bama jersey with Granny and Mama Boyd, my great grandmother!
Watching Alabama play is about so much more than a game to me. When I watch the crimson and white and hear that fight song (I knew all the words from early on) I remember so many happy memories with those I love - special trips with my grandparents, Saturday afternoons in front of the tv with a bowl of popcorn, playing on the quad, getting autographs of players, playing on the Quad, wearing my Bama jersey, and hugs and kisses from Phil for TDs or interceptions! (maybe this is the best part of watching the games together?) And I always think of my family - I know that they too are gathered around the tv or radio cheering the Tide on to victory! I am sad to say that we have not passed along this love to my daughter Maria. We did try - dressing her in cute little Bama jerseys and hairbows, but I have to say that we failed. So sad! She used to actually be embarrassed to have friends over on Bama game days because of the yelling and screaming and jumping around. (those of you who think Phil is quiet should see him watch a ballgame) I remember her telling one startled friend as they walked in the front door (obviously not raised in a football home) "It's okay - they're not yelling at you." I think she thinks we are pitiful and feels sorry for us!
I suppose some of you will read this and think "that's idolatry!". Well, I have certainly been known to pray during an Alabama game. I am certain that it was prayer that helped us win the National Championship in 92 - I was certainly on my knees! I have no idea if God cares or even if it is entirely appropriate, but I pray anyway because I don't think God is offended. However, for me, it is the sense of family history, shared experiences and the joy of being with those I love that most make Alabama football special for me. It's fun now to attend games with my husband and sons and sometimes my mom. We have a great time hoopin' and hollerin' together and those moments together are great memories.
Alabama football makes me feel at home - it's like comfort food for my soul, reminding me of family and happy times and many afternoons just having fun with those I love.
Enjoy a little fun this fall and ROLL TIDE ROLL!