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College sports in Alabama are more toxic than in almost any other state.
Good article. In our house we don't boo, we cheer louder for our team.
I believe much of the animosity comes from frustration. I know many people who attended school in Tuscaloosa. We are fine with our jibes back and forth. Those are "my bammers" and we do the rivalry like we are supposed to, good naturedly. The problem arises when I am away at work and am confronted by "other bammers". Last year I was approached by someone just so they could hit me with an RTR. By approached I mean, the guy made his way across a crowded room to poke me because I was wearing, what he saw, a bright orange target. More commonly known as an Auburn hat. This is one example. I get a good share of War Eagle's thrown my way, but it's in passing and not obnoxious. Never once have I sought out a "other bammer" and hit them with that greeting. Auburn doesn't define me, it mirrors much of what I live by and believe. The other school, well it seems them winning makes it's fans "winners" by proxy and they love to let you know. It is hard not to sometimes point that fact out.
"If you can't put your faith in an Auburn man, who can you put your faith in?"
Spot on Mike. I believe the same way. Auburn sports has a place in my heart. But my heart does not respond to a win or lose. AU competition does not define me. It used to a lot. But now that I have "matured", so to speak, I find it comical that many AU fans and bamers let it dictate their lives.
My priorities are my Faith, family and job. AU sports, esp FB, comes after those. I have always wondered what some AU and bamer fans would do if their respective FB teams did not play for 3 years. I really believe some would do terrible things to each other. Sad, but true.
The less respect we have for our rivals, the shallower our victories become.
The less respect we have for our rivals, the shallower our victories become.
With many Alabama fans who I know, you take away football, and they have nothing. Most Auburn fans who I know, you take away football, and they still love Auburn. Maybe the reason is that nobody loves Auburn but Auburn people. That's the way it seems, anyway.
A few years back, at a cub scout campout event at Talladega speedway on a fall Saturday night, I wasn't surprised to hear the loud cheers when Bama's winning score was announced. But I was shocked to hear resounding boos when Auburn's winning score was announced. I had just moved back to Alabama and it wasn't pleasant to have to try to explain to my child why we, as Auburn fans, were subject to such hate. I think its been a tough but good lesson to my kids about the true nature of people, however.
I know all fan bases have crazy fans but I too have noticed increasing hatred to Auburn fans from Alabama fans in everyday life situations. We all have. I don't really understand it. I understand hatred at a sports bar or something of the like, but in the off season at the grocery store???
Some other more national fans hate us for the Cam situation with the thinking we cheated and won a championship. The latter has died down and has slightly shifted towards Alabama. I participate on a lot of college football chat pages on facebook and the national focus shift is towards Alabama. Concerns from other fan bases of cheating and steriods or PED's. One look at Alabama players vs Notre Dame and you can see their concern. Another concern is just plain paying for recruits. The PED concern is by far the stronger concern from other fan bases.
I myself will wear my Auburn gear, support my team and ignore the other side as usual. They thrive on our reaction so I never give it to them but simply respond with War Eagle!!
Let's be honest, during the 10 game Bear Bryant winning streak, the abuse Auburn fans received from UA fans was horrible, but I don't think the hated then was anything like it is now for many reasons. Our seven game winning streak, Cam Newton's Heisman, IB comeback win and AU's NC and of course, Paul Finebaum. The bammers can not take Auburn having success.
Nothing is going to stop the hits, except winning again and winning in a big way. To be honest, I know what you are saying Mike, there is more to life, but in the State of Alabama this is much more than football. The bammers that live and die football, creating their false identity have something lacking in their life. I do believe that when Auburn starts winning again and especially the IB, the Auburn people will unleash a volley of Tomahawk missiles toward anyone wearing crimson. We are all tired of turning the other cheek and taking such insults. That doesn't mean that we will get in the gutter with those buffoons, but like the guy that screamed out at me in Taromino, Sicily this past December - "Hey, barn, what happened to you in the IB -RTR!!!" Now, that comment was not even in the State of Alabama, or the U.S., but in a foreign country. He had to get the hit out at me, so he could gloat and puff up his chest.
I'll be honest, I want a little payback and I want it soon!
Scottish by Blood, Southerner by Birth, War Eagle by Choice
As maturity sets in at the age of 67 and being a third generation Auburn man; we have learned that a game is a game among mostly 18- to 21 year olds and we see life differently. I have done my share of taunting when I was younger but as life goes on there are only a small number of things that really matter. God, Family, and Country. I do love my Auburn Tigers. WDE
What a telling article! I see it everywhere,we let "our team" define who we are.
I love Auburn and believe in it. In the wiregrass area, most Alabama fanATICS never carried a book on the campus. It is nice to look around at the cars/trucks at a traffic light and see that there are always more Auburn supporters than the other guys.
Great article. My granddaughter just said yesterday that "Nana loves Auburn better than anything in the world." I stopped and told her that yes, I do love Auburn a lot but I love her and Papa and God more. But still War Eagle forever!
Man o' man you should have seen the bama display in PCB this past weekend.
Mike, an AUsome article. The thing that stands out the most to me is Auburn academics ranks higher than athletics consistently in major publications. Auburn athletes are continually recognized for their academic achievements. Auburn standards are not compromised for athletics. I have two children who have graduated from Auburn in the last 4 years, one is a LT in the USN and the other on the football staff at ASU (a female by the way). Both carry their Auburn pride with them where ever they go, as do I. I am a firm believer in Auburn Family and hope that we continue to be a family and never become a Nation. We are much closer as a family, which is what I believe makes us much stronger. War Eagle
It's too bad that fandom in the state of Alabama usually trumps simple logic. The thought that "maybe I shouldn't 'boo' this kid at his Highschool graduation because he got a SCHOLARSHIP to play for any other university besides bama" should but doesn't enter their mind. But even if it did the thought immediately moves to, "Naw, their going to Auburn so it's expected of me."
I'm not going to say poor kids because its not like the booing is a life changing event but its shows very little respect for the kid. Especially at a time when the kid has done what was expected of him and deserves the proper recognition and respect for it. Their like an abusive spouse. They have to beat you down mentally as well as physically in order to fully fuel their superiority complex.
But after a bama fan killed the Toomer's Corner trees are you really that surprised?
"Wishful thinking is not the same thing as objective evidence." - jdhinsc
It is a double edged sword. If we don't care, the games are not near as exciting, intoxicating! If we care too much, stupid things like booing a kids college choice and poisoning trees come to fruition. What I do know, and have struggled with, is I know my Lord and Savioir doesn't like me making idols and Gods out of anyone, doesn't like me to "Worship" anything, or anyone but him! It sure does feel like worship in those big stadiums and us dying for our team to make a big play or win the game. It's a strange deal this thing we call Life. Strange deal!
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