Although I'm not a sports writer by trade, it would have been considered bad journalism if I had come out on the side of Alabama or Auburn before last Saturday's big game. But now that the Iron Bowl is over and the season is almost at its end, I can finally reveal which team I claim as my own.
I was rooting for !BLEEP>. Fact is, I've been a huge fan for thirty years! I want all my kids to graduate from !
Okay, I know what you're thinking: "Hey, Tim, why are you using that annoying instead of the actual team name? Why are you so hesitant to reveal the name of the team you were rooting for? Huh? Why?"
I'll tell you why. It's because the game is not really over. Alabama and Auburn fans will be replaying every second of that Iron Bowl until the next one comes around. And the Monday morning quarterbacking began even before the game was over. Within five minutes of the end of the game here's a small sampling of the email that was coming into Alabama Live's feedback line.
Let's begin with this one from a member of the fairer sex:
"Please print the real reason 'Bama lost to Auburn: DUMB coaching. DuBose should have been fired on the spot, along with whoever called the dumbest play in the history of Alabama football. The players played great, and should have won. The coach lost the game."
And this from an Alabama fan living in Florida:
"Dumb Bose" has got to go! That pass play was, without a doubt, the stupidest call I have ever seen in 30 years of football. There is only one to blame. "DUBOSE!" GOT TO GO!!! FIRED TODAY."
And this little ditty that says what the majority of Alabama fans were probably thinking:
"The Alabama offensive coach should be taken out behind the Auburn stadium and shot. That 3rd down pass play was the dumbest play in the history of Alabama football. Get some new coaches, I can give you some names."
The great thing about football mania is that it is the most honest kind of fanaticism, breaking all barriers of race, gender and age. Even the teachers in our elementary and middle schools fan the fire. Chelsea, my 9 year old, came home Friday with tears in her eyes because her teacher, a woman she respects and loves, wore a jersey to school. My little girlwas devastated.
"Mrs. Smith is for , daddy. I can't believe it. I'm never going back to school again! Never!" Great, a 9 year old dropout. Thank you for ruining my baby's life.
Sometimes I wonder if we take our football too seriously in Alabama. It wouldn't surprise me if legislators in Montgomery passed a law requiring everyone to put their team preferences on the back of their driver's license. A harmless idea, I suppose, unless you get pulled over by a state trooper who roots for the other side.
"Mr. Jones, I'm only going to issue you a warning this time, but... uh oh, says here on the back of your license that you're an Alabama fan. That changes things a bit. It's a good thing you marked this organ donor box. You're about to make some kidney patient very happy. Step out of the car please..."
Football fanaticism has been known to break up families, cause domestic violence, and drive otherwise sane people to do really stupid things. Take my brother, Shemp, for example. Shemp is a rabid fan who somehow managed to hitch his marital wagon to a lovely woman who is an equally rabid fan. Talk about your mixed marriages. I don't think that "Men Are From Mars" guy put this chapter in his book.
Shemp and his wife get along as well as any married couple, until their teams play each other. Then things turn ugly, Veeeery ugly. Shemp takes over the house like a Branch Davidian at a real estate auction, refusing to let his wife in until after the game, which is just fine with her. She would rather watch the game at her sister's house because her husband is, and I'm quoting her, "an obnoxious fan!"
Hmm, I didn't know there was any other kind.
It is worth noting that we Alabamians are not the only ones who go nuts over college football. Take last weekend's Michigan/Ohio State game, for example, which Michigan won 20-14. 120 people were ejected from the stadium for being drunk. Seven fans were ejected for disorderly conduct, six for urinating in public, four for being on the field during the game and two for possession of marijuana. One fan was also ejected for assault. Someone must have drank his beer while he was down urinating on the goal post.
When this year's Iron Bowl came to a close, the Auburn Tigers came out the winners by one very slim point. I discovered something then, watching the Auburn players celebrate and the Alabama players cry. I discovered that it really didn't matter which team I had been rooting for because in the end, I was happy and sad, elated and disappointed, amazed and upset.
Both teams played their hearts out and I think we should, as a state, be proud of Alabama and Auburn. It's just a damn shame that in football somebody has to lose.
And still you ask, which team was I rooting for?
None of your business.
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From "Small Business Q&A" With Tim Knox
Tim Knox is a nationally-known entrepreneur, author, speaker, and radio show host.
Tim has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs realize their business dreams.
To learn more please visit www.timknox.com
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