Today is Game Day and here in the South that can only mean one thing. Football games are being played on college campuses every where....and I love it! And I am fortunate enough to live in SEC country which is arguably the toughest group of teams in the nation as evidenced by the number of BCS titles won over the past seven years. An SEC team has won six of the last seven games with five of those games won by teams from my home state!
Some may find it odd that a female is so enamored of college football but for me it is a normal state of being. My love affair with the game, and more specifically with the Auburn University Tigers, goes back practically to my birth. My Dad attended Auburn and while there, our little family lived in Graves Apartments there on campus. I can remember hearing the rousing cries of "War Eagle" on game days as my Mama pushed the stroller outside the stadium with my sister in the seat and me standing on the back. Daddy had a little brown football which when you turned the little key would play the AU Fight song. I loved to sit in his lap and sing along..."War Eagle fly down the field, Ever to conquer, never to yield...." it will always be a special memory for me.
As I grew up, I learned the game by playing football with the kids in the neighborhood and watching our local high school team on Friday nights. I can't really explain why I grew to love it so much....maybe it is the combination of happy moments spent with Dad cheering for his college alma mater and the rousing games played in yards throughout our neighborhood along with a healthy dose of traditions and pageantry often associated with the games.
There is just something about seeing that golden eagle soaring around a stadium filled with fans roaring in unison, "Warrrrrrr Eagle! Hey!" before all the home games which stirs the blood and lets me know, regardless of the wins and losses, that I am part of a great history. And I'm sure other SEC fans have their own traditions which excite and unite them. I even have my own "game day" traditions.
I have an orange AU Tiger shirt that I wear. On that shirt is my War Eagle button. And even though I may be sitting all alone in my apartment listening to the game on a borrowed radio, I will be waving a somewhat bedraggled orange and blue shaker and feverishly flapping my "fan clapper and sipping from my Auburn glass!" I will pace nervously when the game gets tough and I will cheer wildly for every touch down. For those four quarters of play I step away from my day to day struggles.....I forget about my bills....my health issues....the state of the world.....all those things which can drag me down....and the tension is gone.
The battle fought on the football field is tough and exciting and nerve wracking but I am merely an observer. Unlike my life, my involvement is from a distance. My responsibilities don't impact the outcome of the game. I can relax and leave those responsibilities and choices behind. Maybe that's why I enjoy the game.....its a rough and tumble, pageantry filled respite from life's worries and cares
Time to put on my game day shirt, grab my Auburn cup, shaker, clapper, and relax. War Eagle everybody!