Tomorrow after twenty-five years of waiting I will get to be a part of one of the great traditions in college football. Every Saturday during the college football season there is a gathering of people at a home with a green door in Memphis, Tennessee. These people are gathered here for two reasons; football and family. The inaugural members of the group include my grandparents, my dad, and my uncle Brett and this year for the first time my wife and I will officially be a part of it. I have watched football games with the family before but this is the first time that I’m able to be a part of these get togethers on a weekly basis. I will get to experience all of the ups and downs, though hopefully there won’t be many, of the 2016 Alabama Crimson Tide football season. How did a person who was born in Tennessee and raised in Arkansas become such a big fan of an Alabama football team? You probably just adopted them in 2009 on their way to a national championship right? Wrong. I’ve been a fan of Alabama in good times and in bad and when I say bad I mean really bad. There was a stretch of years where the Crimson Tide was banned from bowl games but ever the faithful fan I would watch them every year in the “Hawaii bowl” where they would play against Hawaii. The game meant absolutely nothing but this was my team and I wasn’t going to abandon them for anything.
I think if I’m being completely honest I would attribute my Alabama fan hood to two things; rebellion and family connection. When I was younger and then not so younger I had a rebellious spirit where I didn’t like to go with the flow but rather wanted to be different. I grew up in Arkansas and was surrounded for the most part by Razorback fans and I believe subconsciously I sought out another team just so I wasn’t like everyone else. So how did I end up a Crimson Tide fan? My dad and his whole side of the family are huge fans and this is where the family connection comes in. I too think this was subconscious but I think I decided to be a fan of Alabama to share a connection with family that I didn’t get to see all that often. Liking Alabama was really such a shared experience in the family and I wanted to be a part of it. I have great memories of everyone rising from their seats and exchanging high fives when Alabama scored and tomorrow we will do it again barring some horrible tragedy like Alabama not scoring. Football is a key piece in the puzzle of what makes September through February my favorite half of the year and I feel very blessed to be a part of such a fun and exciting family tradition that I hope will continue for decades to come.