Rivalry Week and the Tension Begins at Home

Every year at the elementary school open house the students proudly show off their math concepts with bulletin boards in the hallways. Venn diagrams with interlocking circles invite students to write their names in their choice:  Oreos , Chips Ahoy, or both? Chocolate, Vanilla, or both? Alabama or Auburn? (Obviously, there is no “both” in this choice; the overlapping area of these circles sits blank.) Then there is the poor kid, the newly relocated one, who naively pencils in “neither” or “Pittsburgh Steelers” in the area outside the diagram.

I always wonder how long this kid will survive in his uncommitted state.

The Birmingham News ran a front page story by Jon Solomon on Sunday titled, “UA vs. AU rivalry way too heated? Friendships, jobs lost over allegiances“. I wonder if there just wasn’t time to research the impact on families.

As part of a house divided (my husband and I are alums these universities), there is an accepted undercurrent of Iron Bowl rivalry all year long. Our cul-de-sac is filled with similar couples who also planned their weddings around football schedules. Our house even has two separate flag pole mounts where the previous owners could display their team colors on either side – no sissy compromising with a single divided flag.

Fortunately, we had a boy and girl, so we’ve each had one kid to warp for our respective teams. We’ll all be at the game on Friday and have joked (?) about whether to drive separately so the losers need not endure a ride home with the winners. Sometimes I think this division may be giving the kids all the trauma of a divorce without the attorney fees or alternating holidays of a formal custody battle.

The truth is, we all make too much of this ballgame. This year will be especially dramatic, given the additional national attention on Cam Newton (does anyone else agree that this guy’s smile could sell loads of toothpaste or Old Spice  even if a football career somehow eludes him?). For now, I am just appreciating  that our state has enjoyed a remarkable season with even the possibility of back-to-back championships and Heisman trophies between the two teams.

Can’t our UA and AU circles at least overlap on that point?

  • kristin

    i wish