My entire life, I’ve been a proud resident of the great state of Alabama, no matter the address where my mail was to be delivered. This included semi-permanent stops in Mississippi, Ohio, Arkansas and Texas, as well as two years spent overseas in South Korea as member of the United States Air Force. To this day, I consider it a true blessing to have grown up in a small, rural town atmosphere as opposed to a more urban upbringing. Sadly, the southern culture and traditions of the past are fading fast as generations pass and the 21st Century sails by in a technologically-driven blur. Sad, but inevitable, I guess. Even as northern-based media types and the Hollywood community seemed to revel in outdated stereotypes, we held to our beliefs and an inner pride that only born-and-raised southerners can truly comprehend.
Throughout my travels, I felt it my duty to defend the state of my birth from those ill-informed masses who would label all those born below the Mason-Dixon line as ‘slow’, ‘ignorant’, or ‘cracker’. During those many times when the stereotypical insults dug particularly deep beneath my skin, I had one particular iron-clad defense to fall back on as an Alabama native. That being, we could always kick some serious butt on the football field. The legacy of Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant and his many SEC and National Champion squads is one all Tide fans could utilize as a matter of state and regional pride. Though such archaic attitudes have improved a bit over the decades, it remains a useful tool against those who continue to spew such uniformed drivel in the modern era.
All that said, I cannot be prouder of the 2009 National Champion Alabama Crimson Tide football team. As all true Alabama natives know, you are born either a fan of the crimson and white from Tuscaloosa or that other college from the plains of Auburn. Needless to say, I’ve bled the aforementioned crimson and white from a very tender age.
It’s been a long, trying seventeen years since the Tide’s last national title in 1992 (ironically, I was living in Abilene, Texas at the time), which makes this latest crowning even sweeter. The legacy lives on…and will continue to add to its legend in the coming decade.
Sorry, Tiger fans, but you’d better get used to it. The Tide is indeed back.
ROLL, TIDE, ROLL!!!