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Tennessee Hate Week Open Thread: This Is The Historical Rivalry

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Let the hate flow through you.

F' you too, Tennessee
F' you too, Tennessee

Editor's Note: I'm opening comments back up on this one and adding some excerpts from others. Feel free to hate away.

It's a tradition around these parts.

Bammer:

So, most of y'all know I hate Tennessee (just like any good Alabama fan should). Also. most of you know that this hate supersedes my hate for Auburn. And I'm sure most of you know that anything that represents Tennessee, is found in Tennessee, or comes from Tennessee, would be certainly something I hate.  I feel no remorse for my feelings and have no plans in the future to reverse my position.

I don't like Fall or Halloween cause people wear a lot of orange this time of year.

Don't even get me started on pumpkins.

I hate Tennessee because they gave us Peyton Manning and millions of boys and girls named after Peyton.

I don't even like how Peyton is spelled. PAY-ton would be how I'd spell it but I wouldn't name my kid a stupid name like that so...

Josh:

Share away, folks, and tell us in the comments why you hate those worthless, moonshine drinking, checkerboard overall wearing, trash can wielding, second rate citizen hill critters who don’t even have the decency to be mediocre enough to keep from dragging down our strength of schedule.

OTS:

I hate a lot of things. I hate onions. I hate pop music. I hate sizzling fajita platters. I hate Gatorade commercials. I hate cable news. I hate going to the bank. I hate horror movies. I hate reality TV. I hate Toby Keith. I hate the term "fashion-forward." I hate John & Kate Plus 8. I hate Time Warner Cable. I hate Verne Lundquist. I hate people who wear North Face jackets when it's 68 degrees outside. I hate Leno.I hate the Red Sox. I hate celebrity "news." I hate Auburn. But I loathe Tennessee.

And even in 2018, I hate Tennessee as much as ever:

--

We may begrudgingly respect LSU. We may live with, hate, and even occasionally love, Auburn fans like a little brother. But there is absolutely no hate that burns in the heart like the white phosphorus loathing between Tennessee-Alabama

Alabama and Tennessee share a 146-mile contiguous land border.

One of the most ambitious public works projects in human history, Roosevelt's Tennessee Valley Authority, took advantage and made use of the expansive Tennessee-Tombigbee river waterway: The end product literally saved the Deep South -- providing electricity to an entire region, creating a post-agricultural South, pulling several states out of decades of post-Reconstruction military occupation and economic stagnation.

Our two states share a long history of military excellence, of yeoman farmers cultivating the original Western frontier, of rolling hills, precipitous mountain drops, unexpected inclement weather -- and, in the right places, an Appalachian temperament unrefined by modern mores or expectations.

This is Tennessee - Alabama.

Sure, the two states now have about 11 million residents between them and are part of the sun belt boom, but Tennessee, like Alabama, is still a rural state. Agriculture is the largest industry of both. Both are noted for tourism. Both have major cities given up for dead which have since revitalized their historical contributions, renovated their downtowns, and now strive for nothing more than to take their place in a vibrant New South that has left them behind.

But, exit those cities, remove yourself from the census data and the feel-good epistles of carpetbaggers, and then our vicious, trouser-dropping, generational-feuding hatred remains: old rules prevail, old enmities emerge, and we are instantly transported back to a more primitive, tribal view of one another.

Despite our similarities in many respects, we are a very different people from Tennesseans. And, at the end of the day, we believe we are a better people than they...no matter where we may have been born or live. It is not about football teams, or schools, or SEC standings, or the historically streaky on-field rivalry. It is one of geography, of mindset, of 300 years of sniping -- with words and worse.

This rivalry defines a word tossed around far too often and too seldom understood - hate: A pure hate, a hate untempered by anything resembling positive regard or civilizing influence. No other competition brings out such a visceral reaction and unmoors our sanity. No other game could make Terrance Cody cry like a skin-kneed child.

This is my story; this is our story. This is why I hate Tennessee; why Bear Bryant hated Tennessee; and, ultimately, why you hate Tennessee.

Let's get this straight out of the gate: East Alabama Male College was a land-grant, dirt merchant learnin' shack for hay seeds in West Georgia without access to an education. And, many would argue that has not changed. Still, that place remains a pest, a natural SEC East school and no one really worthy of mention.

LSU is, and has largely been, for over two decades an existential threat -- the games are tight, the stakes high because the teams largely (and usually do) mirror one another. This is a good hate; this is a respectful hate; this is a rivalry that has become far more meaningful over the past 25 years than most rivalries that the media laud.

Tennessee is a different critter entirely. Aside from Mississippi State, a rivalry only in their fevered minds, Alabama has played no opponent more often. In the SEC, Alabama has won more games, lost more games, played more games, tied more games, played more consecutive games against Tennessee than any other opponent. Alabama's series record against the Vols shows how close and streaky this series has been -- the Tide hold the lead 52–37–8 in 96 meetings [ED. - This is now the 99th meeting. And that record ain't gotten any better, Vols.]

Paul William Bryant, a Fordyce, Arkansas bumpkin with no shoes, one suit, and zero natural enmity towards Tennessee, learned (and quickly maintained to his deathbed) that the Third Saturday was the rivalry.

I was fortunate enough to spend some time with the 1965 National Championship team this season. Want to know the number of times API was mentioned: Zero. Literally. No one picks on their family in polite company -- it's not very Christian. Now, do you want to know the number of time Tennessee was mentioned (often with great profanity?) Literally every living human with whom I overheard or spoke did so.

We may sing "fuck Auburn...and LSU" in Dixieland Delight. But, I think we really only understand those words when Tennessee comes to town and the familiar refrain of "fuck Tennessee" becomes one that could, and does, turn to violence far quicker than either state or school or fan base would care to admit.

There is a reason that in the '50's, after Bryant arrived, his trainers and then his entire team adopted cigars as a staple of Tide victories. To date, after 100 years of playing present SEC foes, no team receives either the opprobrium or the celebration of beating Tennessee.

This tradition and celebration continues.

Henry

(C) Al.com via Vasha Hunt

We all have personal reasons why we hate Tennessee. Is it in our DNA? If we are alumni or legacies, it's very much ingrained. If we're North Alabamians, it's familiarity with the horribleness and utter stupidity of their fans. Is it the Roy Kramer/Phil Fulmer/Secret Witness/Snitching era? That's a damned good reason. Is it the most classless winning moment in college football history? It's that too.

But, mainly, it's because at the cellular level we know, we've always known, that Tennessee is and remains Alabama's historic rival. The differences are too stark. The history is too long. The violence, the close wins and close losses, the blowouts and streaks, are too painful and too emotional to fully articulate.

This is a rivalry.

This is the rivalry.

Welcome to the Third Saturday In October, a game so important that the nation marks its calendar by it.

Tell us your story. This is decidedly NSFW, but try and keep it outside of NC-17, if you don't mind.