For some of you, its the 3rd Saturday in October, for others its the Tennessee game, for some its week 8, but for a select few, its more than that. A little back ground into me and this game:
Its known that I live here in Tennessee, born and raised just an hour west of Rocky Top, and it sucks. I am a displaced Alabama fan floating in a sea of orange puke. My family has a building on campus, I hold season tickets, and have not missed but a handful of games since that day I got my driver license and season tickets for my 16th birthday, thanks grandad for moving my dad up here when he was a kid, and dad for not moving us back to the promise land when we had the chance---owe ya one, now im stuck here with a life of work, although I have no women or kids so I guess moving back is my own fault but whatever, another day.
Growing up with memories and stories of the Bear, and fuzzy memories of the Stallings era, most of my life has been "the trouble years" that Alabama has endured for the last 15 years or so. I remember watching the 92 NC game with my father and him saying, this is Alabama football son, watch and learn-this is all you need to know. First Alabama game with my father at Neyland Stadium and our truck had Big Al sucks (_____) keyed on the side . I was 8.
My father cut ties with friends because of the harassment he received for raising me an Alabama fan, and Alabama loosing and the struggles they were having. I took just as much shit when I got older. This game is for people like us.
Everyone growing up gave me hell about how great Tennessee was (it was the mid 90's and Florida and Tennessee owned the SEC, and I had to watch as we fluttered and puttered barely keeping pace with UT). Tennessee fans hate everything and anything that does not bleed orange. A man told me one day that he bleeds orange, I told him he was one sick man and needed to see a Dr. I proceeded to whip his butt after he ran his mouth a little more in 04. He did not bleed orange to his disbelief, dumbass.
Alabama is a class act, being an Alabama fan to me is like being a gentlemen. A good southern mad raised in the old timey ways of treating women, working hard, and pulling for Alabama on his day off. Also, showing respect, having class, wearing a tie to Homecoming to show respect for those before, Slacks and a Polo to games. Its a way of life.
Broken windshields, keyed cars, slashed tires, stolen flags, and the constant dumbass Tennessee attitude and harassment is what people here have to deal with. Tennessee fans have this attitude that "they are the best and we dont give a shit what you have to say about that, it does not matter because you are not wearing orange". Well, to them I say, scoreboard.
This is more than a game, its more than a win or lose, its more than being number 2 or 1 or 10 at the end of it. Its a pride game, a tradition game, its bragging rights, its holding your head high saturday night at 10pm with that big A on your chest, its walking into church Sunday morning and getting "the look" from people who last Sunday rocked the UT gear. Its deep, its in your heart, its in your soul. Its your childhood, its a cool crisp Saturday morninng throwing football in the backyard with your Dad, its being Jay Barker or The Snake, or Joe Beautiful for a few minutes. Its a Run in the mud because you can and the Snake did, and your Dad just smiles. Its the way the day feels, its different than any other Saturday, its THE Saturday.
Its Guts. Its Determination. Its One game a year to hold your head high, to hang your hat on, to say-
"Hey Vols, we just beat the Hell outta you, Rammer Jammer, Yellow Hammer, Give 'em Hell Alabama!!!!"