What makes grown men show more emotion than they day their children were born? And makes women dress their children like cheerleaders while they wear pearls and sundresses? What influences the dates of weddings more than the bride and groom? And shuts down cities and households every Saturday in the fall?
One word- football.
I am always baffled when I hear someone in the South say that a sport other than football is their favorite sport to watch. I mean, if Derek Jeter lived in Atlanta, even he would have to say that his favorite sport is football. In the South, football is a god.
That is why I am even more baffled at the amount of Auburn fans screaming from the top of the mountains about Bruce Pearl being hired at Auburn. I didn’t know that many people were “into” basketball. Don’t get me wrong- I am pumped. That is a huge hire and (I’m hoping) will be a great influence on our sub-par basketball program. However, the minute spring training starts, every Auburn fan (and person in the South who is relatively normal) begins the football countdown.
You know what I’m talking about. It’s the men (and women) who LITERALLY (not figuratively) have an app that counts down to the first day of college football. It’s the tweet that says, “148 days until college football. #govols” (For the sake of my argument I needed to use examples other than Auburn. Yes, I see this is sinful. I will beg for forgiveness later. At least I didn’t say go dawgs. And don’t even think I will ever come close to saying those devil words -r**l t**e)
You see, the SEC keeps trying to make basketball happen. And it just isn’t. It will ALWAYS lose to football. (I’m sorry, folks. It’s the truth.) Until SEC fans begin counting down to basketball season, dressing their children (or sorority girls) in basketball uniforms, and skipping major life events to watch basketball games, football will remain the champion.
(Note: I realize that North Carolina and Kentucky are exceptions, but do we even claim them as the South???)
Don’t believe me that football is king? Let me tell you some stories.
When I was in second grade, my cousin got married on the day of the Iron Bowl. (WHHAATT?!?! WHO DOES THAT!?!?) Yes, she did. It was tragic, and I knew this even in the second grade. The day of the wedding was wonderful. We got ready together, had a fun breakfast, played at the huge house where the reception was (maybe that was just me), took tons of pictures, and got them married. However, from about 11:30 until 3, none of the groomsmen (or me) could be found. It was time for pictures, and there were no groomsmen!! Where were they found and drug from? The coat closet with a miniature television. That’s right. They “escaped” from wedding day duties to cram into a closet like sardines. Men only do this for football.
A separate and true story- My best friend got engaged and immediately chose a Saturday in November (because Auburn would be off that weekend). Well, about a month later, she realized that Auburn actually would be playing that weekend, and bumped her wedding up almost a full month. To you this may seem like not a big deal, but to the Southern woman who loves all things floral, calligraphy, and lace, a month is a HUGE deal. You don’t just throw together a wedding at the country club! That takes time, energy, and a Southern accent; a month is crucial. Now that is what I call devotion. Ever heard of anyone doing that for basketball? hockey? soccer? Didn’t think so.
One time JRB told me that he wasn’t sure he would’ve dated me if I hadn’t been an Auburn fan. Think he REALLY cares if I pull for Auburn basketball? Ok, bad example. But still- football is more important.
I know a guy whose first words as a baby were, “Weagle.” Once again, think that was because his parents are avid Auburn basketball fans? Nope, season ticket holders for years for Auburn football.
I’m sorry, other sports fans, that live in the South. Your sport will always be #2 in our minds. There’s really nothing you can do about it.