I like to make this annual poast as it keeps me grounded and thankful that I am not a bammer.
Many moons ago, whilst I was a youngin growing up in Pell City, AL, I had yet to appreciate college football. My Dad was not really into sports, but did watch it occassionally. I knew my friends had already chose a side, most for the Bryant-led evil empire, but a couple that were solid orange and blue. Well, my Dad's side of the family that fills up a lot of NW Alabama (Decatur, Huntsville, Athens and all of Winston County) were all-out crimpson tahd fans. A couple of them were big donors to the University and had several photo ops with the old drunkard himself. I think they may have seen an opportunity to corrupt a young, impressionable MIAUTIGER as they started taking me to Lesions Field (turf, by the way) to watch bammer games. My first 5 college football games were all at that god forsaken structure. And they would take me down to field level and point to the Bahr, who was leaning against the goal post, and proceeded to tell me about that god who was all loving, all knowing, all everything. It struck me odd, even at that young age, that grown ups would act this way about an old guy that was rumored to smell of salty snacks and booze. The day after that god defied his god-like status and passed away and was buried, they took me to his grave site and proceeded to go all Old Testament in their grieving. I am pretty sure they were wearing sackcloth and had ashses on their head, not sure. Anyway, these same relatives, all of them, had one thing in common: they smelled like mothballs. Their homes smelled like mothballs, their clothes smelled like mothballs and I swear to this day, even Lesions Field smelled like mothballs. And I hated how mothballs smelled.
In the midst of that crimson and white desert, God (the real one) provided an oasis for me by the name of Bo Jackson. It was his sophmore year where he ran all over bammer, and I was hooked. I watched games from that year and was convinced that the Orange and Blue nation was the one I wanted to be a part of. My folks blessed me with some orange and blue gear that Christmas of 1983 and I proudly wore them to school every single day the rest of that year. Even to my family runion in Double Springs, where my family proceeded to shun me, at least that is how I remember it. In any case, I saw the light and came over to the good side. Blessed be the names of Bo and Pat.
And to this day, in my mind's eye....and nose....the bammer nation all smells like mothballs.....and stale chips....and booze....and disappointment.