North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

Opinion

December 16, 2013

Danielle Cater: Try to keep sports in perspective

COMMENTARY — Unless you’ve had your head stuck in the ground for the past few weeks, you know that there is a lot of talk about college football in this state.

I’m not sure anyone in the world, including Gus Malzahn, could have predicted the turn-around season that the Auburn Tigers have had this year.

Auburn went from being the absolute worst team in the SEC last year, winning no conference games in the season, to playing for the BCS national championship game in Pasadena in January.

SEC football is much more than just a sport in Alabama — it’s a way of life, it’s a religion, it’s a choice. Even if you are only visiting the state for a few weeks, one of the first questions you will answer is, “Are you an Auburn or Alabama fan?” Be careful how you answer, because this decision will haunt you for the rest of your days in this wonderful state.

My family is full of die-hard Alabama fans. My dad watches the football updates all the way in India during the season, and my sister sports her crimson and white every Saturday during the season.

But at the tender of 5, I was introduced to Bo Jackson. I thought he was the best thing since sliced bread, so I quickly became an Auburn fan. I’m sure my streak of rebellion against my parents had something to do with that, but through all 28 years since then, I have pulled for my team. It didn’t matter if we had an awful team like we did last year, or if we went undefeated like we did in 2004. I was happy to pull for my Tigers no matter what the outcome was.

Unlike the smarter fans, I still took bets and ran my mouth through the rough years also. This resulted in my frequent wear of hideous Alabama apparel and having to squeal out the occasional “Roll Tide” due to lost bets. But alas, I never have wavered in my allegiance being for the orange and blue.

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