Saturday, I took off work and Justin and I drove to Auburn to watch the Tigers take on Ole Miss. We followed our friends Camron and Martina to where Martina’s parents tailgate, and stayed there a for a few hours before the game. The food was great, and a huge thanks to the Juarez family for making us feel so welcome!As an Alabama fan, there is just something a little uncomfortable about cheering for Auburn. Now, I’m not an Auburn-hater as most other Bama fans are. In fact, Auburn is my second favorite team of all time (sorry Harding, you are a close third J). Justin graduated from Auburn and most of our close friends are Auburn grads, so I made a decision long ago that I would cheer for Auburn because they represent the great state of Alabama. I also have come to the conclusion that I would like them to win every single game of their season UNTIL the Iron Bowl. If both teams were undefeated, then it would be the biggest game of the year! ESPN Game Day at the Alabama/Auburn game with both teams coming in undefeated would just be a dream come true… especially if Alabama comes out on top! So, when they aren’t playing each other, I have NO problem enthusiasticly and sincerely cheering for Auburn. This theory is almost completely contradictory to most other hard-core Alabama fans, who wish the Auburn campus would be completely destroyed by a tornado. In my opinion, my philosophy makes me no less of an Alabama fan.
Nevertheless, pulling for AU at Jordan Hare is different than pulling for them on TV. I felt more like a traitor to my roots. So, when the announcer cried, “TOUCHDOWN, AUBURN!” I actually heard in my head, “TOUCHDOWN, ALABAMA!” At times, I pretended that my shakers were crimson and white, rather than orange and blue. And twice, I accidentaly cheered for Ole Miss just because their colors are so similar to the Bama colors! But, I was genuinely intrigued by Nova, the eagle who flies from the flag pole to the 50-yard-line. I got a tear in my eye during the National Anthem (as I always do). I actively participated and cheered and shook the shaker in perfect beat to the Auburn fight song. I even left the game with a little “Bodda Getta” stuck in my head.
Call me a traitor, say I’m not a TRUE Alabama fan, but my conclusion is this. I will go back to Auburn if the opportunity seeks me out. I will pull for Auburn again (although never against Alabama… just to make myself clear). But I now know to expect to be a bit uneasy… just a bit out of my comfort zone. But I won't let that uneasiness keep me from having a good time!