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I've been asked when I became an Alabama fan. I honestly don't remember and the word "fan" seems like such a passive and inaccurate description anyway. It is more like a heritage and birthright that was given to me by my parents. I remember watching Bobby Humphrey #26 run up and down the field and then running around in the back yard pretending I was him in front of thousands of screaming imaginary fans.
When we lost I would become ill...as a seven year old. I remember the day the Coach Bryant died. We were sitting at a traffic light after going to the grocery store. I was in the back seat and my mother was driving. I saw tears rolling down her cheeks and I asked her what was the matter. She said "A very nice man died today." I asked who and she paused...she didn't want to tell me. She hesitantly said "Coach Bear." which is how I referred to Coach Bryant. I cried myself to sleep that night. That is my very first real experience with understanding the pain of death...and it was for a man I never met.
As I grew older the passion grew stronger. Watching games with my father was a ritual. We lived and died on every play together. My first game was Alabama vs. BYU. I had NEVER been to a game and to finally see my beloved Tide in person was like an out of body experience. It was surreal. I sat in the end zone right in front of Shaun Alexander as he flashed the #5 after scoring his fifth TD of the day. I was in heaven on earth...literally.
I could go on and on..but I guess my point is that as I sit here and listen to Coach Saban, Barrett Jones and others talk about my team...I'm proud. Like so many of you Alabama football is interwoven into my DNA. I never attended UA...couldn't afford it. I'm not a booster...not a member of the Red Elephant Club...but I challenge anyone to dispute my lifelong heritage and love for the greatest team in the history of sport. I love Alabama. Enjoy this. Roll Tide.
"The (All In) Family"
Excellent post!! I feel exactly the same way. I never got the privilege to go to 'Bama either as I was in the Army during the Viet Nam era. I became a fan the first time my father took me to a game to see them play Ga. Tech. The next year we went to an Auburn game, but the same feeling just wasn't there. Good thing he took me to a 'Bama game first.
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