Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Who Should We Be Rooting For on January 7th?
So I've started picking up the pieces of my broken self and the painful memories seem to be popping into my mind less and less....for now. I'm sure some of these will come back when I'm forced to watch the National Championship game on January 7th. I'm a football fan, and so yes I'll be watching the game.
Every year a non-Dawg SEC team reaches the title game, the spirited debate rages.... should you root for a team within your conference and ride the SEC train, or root for the opponent to bring down one of your conference foes? I'm not going to argue that you should feel right or wrong for falling on either side, just share my opinion.
It's a much harder debate depending on where you are geographically, who your co-workers are, etc. as you have to weight how bad the hurt of potentially hearing a certain fanbase gloat for a year will sound. It can be a little easier to decide if it's not a hated rival such as Florida or Auburn, but still we have some bad blood with seemingly most everyone in the conference.
Look, a Bama win will burn me pretty much as bad as anyone else. I'm marrying a girl in June who has a brother on the football staff for the Tide, and both of her brothers are Bama grads. Bama fans I will acknowledge are some of the worst in college football, and this was re-affirmed to me sitting in the Dome on Saturday. I've got a couple good friends who are legit Bama guys who carry themselves the right way, but for the most part I'm continually amazed at how these people have nothing outside their lives aside from how the Tide performs on Saturday. Just do a quick YouTube search and you'll be reaffirmed. Watching those Bammer fratstar jabronis celebrate after their victory in the Dome made me want to throw some serious punches, but luckily I was with the fiance's family and of course have a sense of decency about me. I hate the Bama sense of elitism as much as anyone, but after all this I'll still be pulling for the Tide come National Title time...
To me, despite the arguments, I still feel it's more beneficial for the SEC to hold the National Championship belt despite that holder not being the Dawgs. My biggest reason is that I want the rest of the country to not have an argument that the SEC Champion is most likely the best team in the country, and therefore by winning their conference despite the record (obviously within reason) deserves a shot at the title. Georgia has two SECC's in the BCS era and has been denied a shot both times due to extraneous circumstances. It all started with Auburn getting the shaft in 2004, and since then the conference has seemed to rally together in a sense of regionalism and pride. We know what it takes to get through our respective slates, and if we come out victors we should get the chance to challenge for the title given the current college football landscape. As long as the conference keeps winning, that notion should hold true.
I understand the impacts of a rival getting stronger with another notch in their belt as far as recruiting, program prowess, etc. but I really don't see Bama getting any "stronger" from a national perspective. What more can they do. They already pretty much get their pick of recruits and aren't going to gain anymore resources with another victory aside from some nice cash incentives for playing in the game. In the end the conference momentum outweighs whatever negatives can be put forth in front of me for me to not root for the Tide. I think Georgia will win a conference crown in the near future, and when they do I hope the nation and subsequent pollsters will put that team in the title game.
Also, the non southern football fans can't have bragging rights over our way of life. A quick perusal of national message boards will amaze you as to how the rest of the country hates us and still thinks their brand of football deserves some credit over the SEC. We all know that Notre Dame would have four losses at least if they played in the SEC. While they may be able to win game on a national one-time circumstance, they never would have gotten that chance if they had to play four or five of the best teams in the country. Plus their like the Yankees of football and we can't have people hopping back on that bandwagon. I like Brian Kelly, I like their tradition, and I think it's good for football that they're back in the picture, but I don't need a bunch of Midwesterners telling me about how good they are at football all year.
I'll be watching the game and cheering for the Tide, but trust me it won't be with a great deal of fervor. To me it's not about the crimson and white, it's about a generic team defending what we've all come to believe a Saturday in the South should be about. Furthermore I hope it continues to propel the momentum of the conference that will give Georgia the opportunity they deserve when we do harness another conference title. Reluctantly, I'll be cheering for the Tide.