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Stuckinthebush's Journal
Posted by Stuckinthebush in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Wed Aug 01st 2007, 12:47 PM
I have been a resident of the State of Alabama for most of my life. In Alabama, as some have surely heard, it is customary to declare as a Tide or Tiger fan early in life. This is something that is forced upon children in our state. "Who do you like? 'Bama or Auburn?" If one doesn't declare by the end of elementary school, then one is excluded from the fun and excitement of pulling for your team in the fall and bragging about your team during the spring and summer...not to mention that you are also seen as some kind of oddity.

As easy as it is to come to a decision - a decision that is largely determined by family or friends - it is hard to change that affiliation later in life. Once you declare, baby, you are forever a fan! You will fight for your team and degrade the other. You will ignore the NCAA infractions of your team while pointing out the unscrupulous nature of the opposing team's coach when it comes to recruiting. You will become sickened at the "crazy" behavior of their fans while ignoring the equally crazy fans of your team. You are a FAN!

Football season is upon us and this means that the Alabama/Auburn talk is getting heated here in the state. I was contemplating the die-hard nature of Alabama and Auburn fans the other day and giggled when I started to compare it to the die-hard nature of presidential candidate fans here at DU. I find it fascinating that once we "declare" for a candidate, then that candidate can do little wrong while the others are clearly inferior. We find that it is our duty to trash the others for minor issues while ignoring the minor issues surrounding our candidate. Like in Southeastern Conference football where the perennial big dogs are attacked and ridiculed more heavily than the Vandys and Kentuckys, the 3 percenter candidates do not receive nearly as much venom as the top polling candidates. They aren't really ever a threat anyway, you know, so why waste the energy, right?

I have an affiliation with the University of Alabama as adjunct faculty. I enjoy teaching and I love the UA campus. The graduate students are smart and the tenure track faculty are all very capable. I also love to watch the UA football games and scream for the team to win. My 10 plus year affiliation with UA has been wonderful. I did, however, grow up as an Auburn fan and can't seem to shake that loyalty. My unique position has allowed me to see that it is college football that I love and I hope that both Alabama and Auburn do well. This makes it hard for me to trash the other guys.

Perhaps here at DU we can see that our wish is for the Democratic Party to do well and that in trashing the other candidates in our party we are engaging in crazy fan behavior. Perhaps we need to constantly re-think and challenge our fan nature to make sure we aren't just acting as fans but are intent on choosing the best candidate who can win in November of '08. If my candidate engages in questionable behaviors or suggests questionable actions, perhaps I should take a stand and say to him that he is wrong. Perhaps we should not pile on to the other candidate when he or she makes a simple mistake or verbal gaffe.

Perhaps our love is for our country and our greatest goal is that we can get any one of our very capable candidates to become president and clean up this terrible mess created by George Bush.

Perhaps we should all cool down as fans at times.

Now excuse me as I go put on my houndstooth Auburn hat.
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