Tuesday, October 19, 2010

My Field Trip to the Other Side

I ventured into "enemy" territory on Saturday. I've never had a burning desire to attend an Alabama football game, but I'm not going to turn down free tickets, especially for a VIP section! I vowed to myself I would play nice, and even bought a new Alabama shirt for the blessed event. We went early and met up with one of Barbara's co-workers and some of her friends. We tailgated out there and then headed toward the stadium. People were lining up to see the team come in, but we managed to muscle our way through and get upstairs to where our seats were. We got out on the balcony and were able to watch the team, including Jesus (oops, I mean Nick Saban!)

As far as the whole experience, I have to say I am now very spoiled! Our tickets were in a section called "The Zone". Not only did we have the nice plastic chairs with cup holders (not bleachers), we had private bathrooms, lockers, and all the free food and non-alcoholic beverage we wanted! The lockers were for the purpose of storing alcohol if you wanted to bring any, but since you can't bring anything in on game day, you have to come the day before to fill your locker and we didn't do that. We were quite happy with the sodas and tea! The food was great! They had a tamale bar, jambalaya, catfish fingers, hush puppies, salad, fruit, nachos, chips, popcorn, trail mix, hamburgers, hot dogs, sausages (and any kind of toppings you could dream of for all of these!) bread pudding, cookies, brownies, and ice cream bars. I'm sure I'm forgetting some things, too! WOW! The best part for me was always having plenty to drink and never having to wait in line for the bathroom!

A few of the fans around us were a little on the obnoxious side, but for the most part everyone was very nice. Some of the whole "football heritage" stuff was a little bit over the top. I know I have jokingly had the "theological discussion" about football as the religion of the south, but I was shocked at how very true this was. And Bear Bryant really is regarded, not only as "a god", but as God! It was more than a little bit ridiculous.

But even more than some of that, I was most disappointed with folks who were tailgating and hanging out before the game, although I can't really say I'm surprised. Everyone was less worried about supporting a team they cared about and more worried about being ANTI-Auburn. If I had to guess, I'd say it had a lot more to do with the loss the previous week than pure meanness. But come on folks, it's a GAME! And really, shouldn't you want your opponents to do well? Because if you beat them, it doesn't prove much if everyone else in the world has also beaten them! Because of this, I was probably a little more smug about Auburn's victory than I would have been otherwise!

Some of the homecoming festivities were fun. I thought it was cute the way some of the Alumni cheerleaders, band members, and front line all got to come back and get back out on the field to perform a little. To me, that's kind of what homecoming is supposed to be about, so it was a nice thing to see! It's too bad I don't care enough about my own school to want to go back for homecoming!

All in all it was a good day. I'm happy that Alabama won. I was exhausted when we got home at 2:30 am, but I would definitely do it over again. For now, my "A" shirt will hang out in the back of my drawer to wait for next year, and I will go hunt for an awesome new Auburn shirt to wear for the Iron Bowl!

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