There are really two University of Alabama's. The one is the academic institution, the other is the athletic (primarily football) institution. They share a name, and *perhaps* some funding. I have a lot of coginitive dissonance and unresolved issues about being both a fan of football and well, you know, a rational human being.
The two so often seem at odds when I reflect back.
Here's what an old friend of mine said on Facebook after Auburn University lost a close one to Clemson and Alabama annihilated Michigan tonight:
"F*** Alabama!" (The original was not censored.)
Here's what I wanted to say:
"Awe, how are those grapes? A little sour I guess. Well, perhaps Auburn could borrow one of our four top-notch running backs. Nah, on second thought, we're using them ALL."
I managed, instead to say:
"Heh. Music to my ears."
I should have said, well, nothing at all.
I'm not writing this blog post TO that person. I think it's best just to let it go; but if they follow the link over here, so be it.
I felt really bad... feel really bad about the oaks at Toomer's Corner. I do. That was abhorrent behavior; beyond abhorrent. AND, the cringe inducing (for me, anyway) sign at ESPN College Gameday this morning making fun of the incident was even more abhorant and damning. I've seen Alabama fans act like fools SO many times. I grew up on the other side of this argument, as an Auburn fan. I've been there. I don't largely like Alabama fans. But I'm here to tell you that no fan base in the SEC is above reproach even if each one thinks it is. And, even if one or the other fan bases is "worse" than any other, a claim I find dubious in the extreme, the way that each fan base rationalizes their horrible behavior by pointing to how badly they themselves have been treated self-nullifies the claim of moral superiority.
Hatred is bad people. Grudges are worse, and worse of all are the grudges for entire institutions and people groups, blindly applied.
I'm pretty sure football is bad for people. I'm pretty sure I can't stop loving it.