Saturday, November 12, 2005

at the sports observation desk

We got some take-out at the Chinese place last night, and I noticed something odd when I emerged from the Rexmobile in the shopping center parking lot outside the China Garden. I was parked between two vehicles sporting University of Alabama paraphernalia. I briefly looked around for any signs of Vol affiliation but found very little. I know that there are many true Vol fans out there, but few were partaking of the sesame chicken last night.

Allegiance, oddly enough, seemed to be around half and half when I first moved here in the mid nineties. There were and still are a high number of Alabamians in Murfreesboro attending MTSU, and this part of the state is relatively safe for expressing non-Vol loyalties. It didn't really get that orange around here until the national championship in 1998, and that is certainly understandable.

Victory allows for a noble spirit, and a noble spirit will embiggen the smallest man, cromulently speaking.

I think I have kept my fandom at the same level this year. The Rexmobile sports a UA tag on the front, and it was there during the dismal Dubose depths and my two years living in east Tennessee. I have a reasonable amount of Alabama clothing that I wear only at appropriate times. Weddings are fine, but funerals are a bit iffy depending on the cause of death.

Sports fanaticism is always interesting. There will be the cases of extreme, but they are to be found in any area of fandom. One of my dad's friends is an Elvis fan who has unironically decorated his den with walls of framed velvet renderings of the king and who visits Graceland once every two weeks. There are only twelve college football games a year, and that probably helps to keep many at a healthy level.

However, there is the story of the Alabama couple who missed their daughter's wedding because she scheduled it at the same time as the UT game. They made it in time for the reception and were somehow able to forgive the daughter for her insensitivity.

It should be noted here that the 1999 Alabama-Ole Miss game took place while I was getting married. Granted, it wasn't the Tennessee game, but I think it indicates relative sanity on my part. I probably could've even gotten married the next week during the UT game if Mrs. Camino had agreed to a big screen TV behind the preacher.

However, Bama lost that one, and it would've given the day a negative connotation for years to come.


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