The University of Alabama has just defeated the Unversity of Texas in the national championship game in college football. Pasadena and the Rose Bowl (sponsored by CITI) played host to the big game, and was a gracious host city. The hype, the pre-game buzz, the months of trash-talking has come to an exciting end. And I wish I could say I couldn’t be happier.
Truth is, I could be happier.
Let me say this now: I don’t hate Texas. I am neutral towards Texas and all Big 12 schools and teams. I live in a Big 12 state, yet I feel nothing.
But I do hate The University of Alabama.
Let me elaborate.
As a child who grew up in TENNESSEE, there was never an option to like alabama. As kids, when we played a pick-up game of football, one team was always TENNESSEE and the other was always alabama. And even if the team called “alabama” was winning, the team knew it was inevitable that the team called “TENNESSEE” was going to come from behind for a big win. Even if the team called “alabama” had to purposefully fumble, throw an interception, or miss a tackle or two. There was no way “alabama” was gonna win. They could not stand the peer pressure, the beatings, the broken friendships if they did win. So, it’s sort of a socially genetic condition that prevents me from pulling for the team from Tuscaloosa.
Which is odd, knowing that my mom grew up in Alabama. That we have precious family who still live in Alabama. I have experienced some of my favorite memories while visiting my family in Alabama. I have high-school friends whose children attend that school over there. Birmingham and Sand Mountain are two of my favorite places to visit.
Yet here I sit, thrilled that Texas made a game of it, but still with just a little bitterness in my heart when I think that for the next year, I will time and time again hear the 5 worst words imaginable in college football- “Alabama- The Defending National Champions”.
So, I will default to my optimistic, ‘my glass is always half full’ attitude, and celebrate a BCS record 6 wins for the Southeastern Conference this season in the Bowl Championship Series. And as I recall, the last 4 BCS National Champions are from my beloved SEC.
I can rest, knowing that the University of Alabama has added to the storied history of the SEC. And I can persevere through the next season, hearing those five dreaded words.
Sadly, next season, the five words will probably turn to seven: “Alabama- The Two-Time Defending National Champions”.