There is a certain percentage of the world that knows what that means -- "to be raised as an Alabama fan." Most of them live in the state of Alabama, but not all of them.
It means: although I attended a different university, Roll Tide Roll is in my blood.
My grandfather used to take people by the busloads (literally) to the games to tailgate, including we children on occasion. Our pantry held some very special Coca-Cola bottles that were never to be touched because Bear Bryant's picture appeared on them. Pompoms of red and white were part of our toy collection. And it was really fun to see my father on TV when he had his stint as President of the Mobile chapter of the Alabama Alumni Association. And I despised the colors orange and blue.
However, I admit it. I forgot all about football while living out west. I'm a chameleon of culture this way, and because of this trait, it's also the reason why I've become a re-born Alabama fan after having moved back to my home state.
To celebrate this re-sparked passion for my parents' alma mater, and because I had a wild hair the weekend of November 5th, I strapped a boxed 4 x 4 foot canvas to the top of my car and drove over to Tuscaloosa to carry out my vision.
I wanted to paint. I wanted to paint big. I wanted to paint Big Al. And I wanted to do it in the middle of the action. So I found a corner near the stadium, set up my oversized easel, squeezed some reds and silvers and whites onto my palette, and I went to work.
It was such a blast! Alabama fans of all ages approached me to comment on the painting. The cop who was tending to this particular corner happened to have a camera, and he was very accommodating to my artistic endeavor, to my relief.
Oh, and in case you missed it, that LSU/Alabama game on November 5th was dubbed "the game of the century." Of course, the ending was not so happy, but this is why the "re-match" on January 9th is going to be one heck of a game!
As for the painting, I had several offers that day, but the painting has yet to find a home. (It may have had something to do with folks not wanting to carry a huge canvas INTO the game.)
Christmas gift, anyone?