Despite the fact that I was born in good ‘ole Alexander City, Alabama, I grew up surrounded with Florida Gators fans because I was raised right down the road from the Swamp in Orlando. Of course, if I claimed my home state SEC school to cheer for it’d have to be Florida, but you see, I bleed crimson. My dad was born and raised in Orlando, Florida, but got a full football scholarship to play at The University of Alabama for Coach “Bear” Bryant in 1969. After winning a National Championship in 1973, he started his life after college and eventually made his way back down to the State of Florida. He kept the tide rolling in our house with memorabilia, stories from his college days and all his favorite memories of the Bryant family. Many Friday’s in the fall, after school, my dad would pack us all up in the car and drive straight through the night to Tuscaloosa. Crimson pride ran through my veins and everyone around me knew it.
I have to say, up until recently, the Florida fans I knew had a hard time appreciating the rich history and tradition of their fellow SEC program. Maybe it was just my high school friends, but now that they are older and wiser in their football knowledge, I think they have come to recognize that the University of Alabama is one of the greatest, if not THE greatest college football program in history (I may be biased.) They began to realize our freshman year, in 1999 when Alabama went into the swamp and in overtime, beat the Gators. A few months later, we went on to meet them a second time in the SEC Championship where Alabama rolled over the Gators. They should have faced the facts and admitted I was right the whole time! Hehe
Now, my Gator friends who used to try and chomp on my Tide Pride, have nothing but respect. They know that Alabama football is the best and there is nothing else like it.
A few years back, before I met my Alabama beau, I actually crossed an SEC barricade when a Gator from the Swamp wanted to date this Bama babe. Me, date a Gator?! You know I’m a die-hard, running through my vein, all up in my soul Alabama Crimson Tide girl right? He knew it, and secretly I think he loved it! No, no, it wasn’t Tim Tebow. Ha! He slowly converted me and I found myself cheering for the Gators every weekend! Well,
except when they were playing the Tide, of course. I had the joy of having an interest in rooting for my home team but it wasn’t truly my HEART team. Now that I’m back to my senses with a real Bama man 🙂 my heart is at rest. I’m B-A-M-A, Bama all the way!