This weekend started the phenomenon that is college football, again. As always, there are observations to be made. Both the professional college team I root for (Auburn) and the college team I love (UAB) lost. I didn't watch either, although I tried to follow the GameStat feature on ESPN online because it wasn't televised. Is there a pattern here? I doubt it, but it is fun to say that if they had only had one more supporter watching...
Did anyone tell UAT that one game doesn't make a season? So they beat the snot out of a Big 11 Team. Isn't that what they do in bowl games, and wasn't a game between Alabama and Michigan played in Texas a bowl game?
I saw that Penn State was on ESPN early Saturday. All those vacated victories, penalties, lost scholarships, but still on television? Yeah, that'll teach 'em.
In addition to writing, I haven't been doing much on social media either. I had practically a conversation on Twitter before kickoffs started, and viewed Facebook throughout the day. College football is undeniably king in Alabama, and much of the South. It seems that everyone is watching it and most have a team that they root for so hard that they can't understand why anyone would pull for another team. Funny thing to watch is how people talk about "how we won" when their team wins and "how they lost" when their team doesn't.
Sometimes I wonder if college football is followed better just because we have so few professional teams in the South or just because we have smaller populations. The truth is probably much less sexy. In the South we follow "our" teams with such die-hard fervor because it is ingrained in us. Not to support one team over another, but to support each other. Family, church, hometown, college, the military, the country, the love and support of things we love is not just a way of life, it's taken for granted. At times it is even overpowering.
Unfortunately at this time of year, that fervor is often misplaced and football becomes a god in the South. People that would never get out of their seats to sing in church never touch their seats in the stadium because they're on their feet singing the fight song, or Sweet Caroline (which I do have to admit is impressive watching 100,000 people in Bryant-Denny sing). The same person who is too "sick" to go to church, but still goes fishing that afternoon wouldn't miss a tailgating event before a home game if they had double pneumonia. Wind and rain can keep you home on Sunday, but on Saturday it's just football weather.
Alright, I can admit this has turned into a rant rather than a post. In no small part because I have always been a bigger fan of professional football. Both of my grandfathers were college football fans, numerous uncles and aunts, I have more cousins than I can shake a stick at most of which are college football fans. I can reason out now why I'm a fan, with the BS System (I dropped the C years ago) doing exactly what it was founded for--not to crown an ultimate champion but rather to keep college football the talk at the water cooler year round--and a bowl game system that would allow for a team to finish below .500 by playing in the "Who Gives a Crap Bowl" it is easy to believe in a playoff system that truly crowns someone who withstood the test. So how did I become a professional football fan? I can't really say, but I do know that growing up in the flukey church we went to we met on Tuesday or Wednesday nights. There was no Sunday church for me unless I went to church with my grandparents (or with my Scout Troop).
Maybe I have my answer.