We were in Nashville a couple weekends ago (Jack White and Third Man Records follow-up post coming up soon!). We visited the Cuntry (see what I did there?) Music Hall of Fame. We had some time to kill after that, so we walked around downtown Nashville.
Downtown Nashville is busy on the weekends. There are lots of bars, record stores, bars, random ice cream shop from the Andy Griffith era and… bars. Did I say bars? They have lots of bars. It was daytime, however, so we didn’t feel weird about dragging our kids down there. We took a horse drawn carriage ride and took in the sights and sounds of downtown on a Saturday.
One of those sounds came from atop one of the two story bars. I couldn’t help but think that the weight of all the humanity clustered together on the upper level would surely result in an awful catastrophe. But I digress. As usual.
I don’t follow soccer. I hate soccer. But that day, the chorus that rang from the second level of that probably-should-be-condemned bar was “USA! USA! USA!” And I thought how awesome it was that pretty much everyone you know, no matter where they’re from in the United States, could cheer for one team.
I’m an Alabama Crimson Tide football fanatic. We moved here six years ago and I resisted all the hype for a while. But it pulls you in, even when you think it won’t. I vowed not to choose between Alabama and Auburn, even after being told multiple times by different people around here that I would have to.
I did eventually choose. Some people ask why or how I chose Alabama over Auburn. All I can say is that, after a while of watching the local news, listening to local sports radio, reading AL.com, etc., the choice just becomes clear to you. I mean it. It’s like Harry Potter and the Sorting Hat. Your heart knows where to go. If you make fun of me for that line, I will come to your house and kick you in the taint.
I have blocked family on Facebook because they acted like asses during football season and decided to post anti-Alabama shit on my wall, just because. We weren’t even playing their team’s sorry asses. They just hate Alabama.
You can’t escape football here. It’s a living, breathing thing in Alabama. Even during the off-season, news about football breaks every single day, multiple times a day. I would not be surprised at all if one day a headline popped up on my Bleacher Report app exclaiming “Nick Saban Did NOT Eat His Traditional Little Debbie Snack Cake For Breakfast!”
You laugh, but I’m serious. That could be an actual, real Alabama headline.
Chaos would reign. Grown men and women would not come out of the fetal position all day, myself included. Babies would cry inconsolably until Nick just did the right thing and ate his traditional Little Debbie snack cake breakfast. Raging debates would ensue over what the hell this news meant. How will his decision not to eat the Little Debbie snack cake impact the starting QB contest? Why didn’t Nick just eat the damned Little Debbie snack cake? He does it every single morning. Every.single.fucking.morning. College Gameday would set up camp in Tuscaloosa. Kirk Herbstreit would predict WHEN he thought Nick would once again eat a Little Debbie snack cake. Lee Corso would don a Little Debbie snack cake costume. The local networks would interrupt regular broadcasting to ponder what this meant for our football season. The sky would rain blood, frogs would fall from the sky. Churches would remain open 24/7 so all could pray for Nick Saban, who has obviously given up on life and (way more importantly) football, because he didn’t eat the fucking Little Debbie snack cake.
All because, maybe, just maybe, Nick simply wants to cut back on his sugar intake.
I say all this to illustrate the passion that sports can bring out in people. Irrational, totally crazed passion that makes one block family on Facebook. Passion that inspires knowing your team’s stats so you can battle the haters that come from EVERYWHERE when your team starts to play in the fall, in my case.
It feels really good that everyone in my Facebook and Twitter feeds are posting “USA! USA! USA!” today. I’m glad I don’t have obnoxious Germany fans, cluttering up my wall with USA hate and stupid memes that aren’t even funny or snarky, dissing my team.
As I write this, Germany currently leads the USA by a goal. If pure excitement and unity count for anything, though, I think we got this.
USA! USA! USA!
Also, you might want to check out my friend Kari’s blog post from earlier today (which inspired my ass to finally write this post) here. Her conversations with her brother are the bee’s knees. They make my brain hurt from all the intelligent words they string together. At one time. I’m in awe. And I need an Excedrin.