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Contestant #2: What It Means to Be Crimson Tide

Here's is contestant #2's entry in the contest. Contestant #1's entry is in the post immediately below.


Contestant #2:

This is Alabama, the state I mean.  You have to have a choice of Alabama or Auburn, you just have to.  I remember in elementary school there was this one girl who said she didn't care and she was a Marquette fan, and she didn't make many friends after that.  She switched schools the next year.

That's just how it works, so up until when I was around 10 years old, I was an "Alabama fan."  I really wasn't a fan though, I didn't watch the games, know anything that was happening, or even really care.  I was just an Alabama fan because my mom told me I was and that was that.

But then my mom got remarried to this HUGE Auburn fan.  He would take me to the games and I would sit in his box and eat ice cream and half-way pay attention to the game.  I would even cheer for Auburn, and eventually they got me into an Auburn sweatshirt.  At school, I became that girl who didn't care, but I was old enough to have already made good friends so they didn't shun me after that.

A few years later the Iron Bowl of 2004 was coming up.  My aunt had season tickets to Alabama home games, and she never had an extra seat because my uncle would go.  But he couldn't watch the Iron Bowl, it stressed him out too much.  He would take his kids bowling instead.  So I got the ticket, and I knew it was a big deal so I was pretty excited.

Finally that Saturday came, and we tailgated and I wore my Alabama stuff, because I guess I was still predominately an Alabama fan, so that's the poncho I wore.  It was my first Alabama game and I was amazed at the atmosphere and how excited everyone was about this.  It was raining, and it was really gross, and if I hadn't had known what a big deal the game was I probably would have wanted to leave.  But we stayed and walked around and I had a really good time.

Then the game started, the people were cheering and excited and I was even yelling myself.  I had heard that Alabama was not having the best season that year, and I was shocked out the outpouring of fans there to support them.  I never knew how much one college team could matter to so many people.

It was the end of the second quarter, and Alabama was winning. I was probably the most excited I had ever been in my life, and I was yelling my head off.  I remember Auburn was going in for a field goal to tie the game before the half, and it wasn't that long of a field goal.  I wanted more than anything for Auburn to miss it.  And we yelled and cheered and tried to distract him, even though it was certain that he would make it. And then he kicked.  It went through the air, I had butterflies in my stomach, and he missed.  It bounced right off.  I was yelling and cheering and hugging this random guy before I realized it wasn't my dad.  I thought that we had for certain won the game (I didn't really understand the concept of momentum change.)

Then halftime ended, and the sad reality set in.  Alabama wasn't the better team, and Auburn won.  I had never been so upset before and haven't been since.  I swore that I would never cheer for Auburn again or go to a game in Jordan-Hare without Alabama playing there.  And I have kept that promise.  I have been to every Iron Bowl since, and will continue to go.

After I decided to become a huge Alabama fan, and I decided that I hated Auburn more than anything.  I used to hate Auburn only in football, but now I want them to lose in everything they do.  I am pretty sure that I have watched every Alabama or Auburn game (either from the stands, television, or pay-per-view) since.  (hoping that Alabama would win and Auburn would lose.)

The next year, Alabama went 10-2.  For a while I agreed with Sports Illustrated that "'Bama was back!"  I thought that we had a chance at the SEC title in the following year, but my hopes were shattered when I realized that it wasn't going to happen.

The 2006 season really upset me.  For that short period of time we were undefeated, and I thought it would stay that way.  Then, on September 23 we lost to Arkansas.  That was my birthday, and it completely ruined it.  I cried my eyes out for 3 hours straight, and then after opening presents I cried again.  That was probably the worst birthday of my life, and the football season turned out to be much the same way.

After the season when Mike Shula was fired, I felt a mixture of emotions, I thought that maybe we should have given him another year, especially since all of the big-time coaches were turning us down.  I was losing faith in Mal Moore.  Then he landed the big-time coach we needed, he landed Saban.

I woke up at 5:00 in the morning and watched the news all day so that I could hear anything that they had to say.  I was so happy, and I knew that this was going to be the turning point in Alabama football, and I still believe that it is going to be.  "Fear the Thumb" shirts that infuriated me are all disappearing, and all around town I see people that are proud to wear their Alabama apparel.

That's the reason I am an Alabama fan.  The team doesn't give up, and the fans don't lose faith.  Fans will break practice game attendance records just to see their team play itself, and the team will put on its best effort.  Even if the rival is undefeated, Alabama will keep fighting until the end.

Alabama football has tradition.  Alabama football has championships.  Alabama football is life...and Alabama football has me and a million other fans right there behind it.