A Big Orange Photo Friday
Know what tomorrow is? That’s right, the famed “Third Saturday In October.” It is Tennessee-Alabama week.
Tennessee-Alabama is, in the humble opinion of this Southerner, unquestionably the greatest college football rivalry there is. No other rivalry has engendered such intense passion as this one. Even the famed “Iron Bowl” featuring Alabama-Auburn cannot hold a candle to this titanic clash. That is just a squabble between the rednecks. 😉
I have stated in the past (and still believe to a good degree) that Tennessee-Florida may well replace Tennessee-Alabama in the pantheon of great rivalries, but even that rivalry does not carry the steeped history and tradition of the Volunteers and the Crimson Tide. Very few Southern rivalries – indeed very few rivalries, period – demand the respect of the football fan like this one.
I am from the generation that still remembers what it was like to hate ‘Bama. Back then (80s and early 90s), SEC schools recruited primarily from their own states and the “territory” surrounding their school, and it was about state pride, bar none. Former Vols and Tide players have been on record as saying that if you lost that game, you couldn’t go home for a week, maybe longer. I’ve been told by those older than me and more knowledgeable about the rivalry that it was even worse in the 70s and 60s, and on back to the beginning of the rivalry.
I miss those days. These days it is all about getting “talent” whether or not that talent appreciates the great stories surrounding the school recruiting them. All of “our” schools are facing this. We have suffered under a generation of players that have either forgotten or do not know what it means to be a Tennessee Volunteer, a Georgia Bulldog, a Florida State Seminole, a Nebraska Cornhusker, or a Michigan Wolverine.
But if you are like me, you will still enjoy the game. I plan to tape it, go to the Deaf Cafe event at church, and then spend the rest of my evening yelling at the TV while reviewing my sermon.