here i am at three. all done up and clueless. the same could be said for of a particular photo of me at twenty-three, but that's another blog. there are no shades of gray when it comes to SEC football in the south. you simply have to choose a team. and if you live in alabama, you're born and bred with a predetermined allegiance to alabama or auburn. i didn't grow up in a die-hard football fanatic family, but it was expected (obviously) that my allegiance would be on the side of the tide. and this was fine with me.
this would all change when i was seven and in the second grade. all for the love of a boy. (and this is the point when my mother should've sat me down and given me whole "people liking you for who you are" or "not changing yourself for others" speech). this particular boy had a shiny nylon auburn jacket that he wore to school every day and i knew - i just knew - if only i too had an auburn jacket, i would instantly win his affection and thus live happily ever after with this boy and our shared affinity for the auburn tigers. and thus began a habit of conformity that would carry into adulthood...
fast forward twenty (plus) years and that boy - the one in the rayon auburn jacket - well, he went on to play college football... for alabama. and while i remained somewhat apathetic over years, my allegiance to the tigers was somewhat solidified when i married an alumni. and now, it's my children all dolled up - parker in his tiger's jersey; chloe in her auburn cheerleading outfit.
with the hooplah of football season, i can't help but pause and ask myself, "who am i really?". what is my [fan] identity? i enjoy watching college football - especially if it's expected to be a close game. i love the atmosphere of games. i love the excitement, but i can't seem to feign passion through my apathy over allegiance to either team.
granted - and as chris so kindly pointed out - i obviously have more important things to be worried about. easy for him to say. his fan identity is all worked out. has been for years. so it's a small part of who i am - but in the season of fall, your fan identity is a significant piece of your proverbial puzzle when you live in the heart of alabama.