The Iron Bowl: No Hatred Allowed Here


That’s me, wearing my Bama team spirit on Daniel’s actual birthday because 1. I hate hospital gowns. and 2. Roll Tide!

Today is the big Alabama versus Auburn game. Most of you know what a big deal that is in my home state.

But our boys? They just don’t get it yet. Even Joshua and Caleb haven’t lived in the state of Alabama, for more than a couple of months, since they were in diapers.

Daniel, in an Auburn helmet…Bless him.

Last year, I mentioned on Facebook that I’m super excited that Joshua finally dropped the, “I’m a Virginia Tech fan,” bit and embraced Bama ball.

I was feeling pretty pleased with myself.  Then one of my college friends pointed out that my job was not done. Huh? Not done?  She said it wasn’t done because my children barely know who Auburn is, and by their age, they should already detest all things blue and orange.

Hilarious. Love you, Elizabeth.  “Oh, that’s right,” I thought, “I sort of forgot about that intense rivalry part, and how my boys are missing out on that action.”

So this year I decided to work on that, as I DO want them to be proper Alabama boys, even if they never get to live in the Yellowhammer state. Isn’t it funny how competitive we fans can be?  It’s all so funny, because we as fans have nothing to do with whether our team wins or loses. And yet, I love it.

At the beginning of this season, as we DVR’d the first Alabama game, I marched myself downstairs to prep the boys….

“Hey, boys, are ya’ll ready for the game?”

They nonchalantly responded, “Huh? Oh, Alabama football. Yeah, okay.”

Sigh. “Come on, boys! We love Bama football games. We’re the best. We’re always winning. This is fun!”

They stared back blankly.

“But you know who we hate??”

They scrunched their eyebrows, highly confused. What is Mom saying? Hate is supposed to be a bad word, right?

Then Joshua spoke up, “Ohhh. I know. You’re talking about that team. Like Au- something, with the logo where the U crosses the A.”

Light dawned on Caleb, “Oh, yeah, I know that too. But do we have to watch the ball game, or can we just go jump on the trampoline?”

“Yeah, but..”

……Then from upstairs I hear my wise and kind husband, “April! Can you come up here, please?”

Busted. I’m pretty sure I know what this is about.


I walk into our room, and Alan shakes his head, “April, I’m not so sure it’s a good idea to teach the boys to hate Auburn. That’s not going to do them any good. We don’t want to teach them to hate anything or anybody. Besides, we have good friends and family that are Auburn fans, and I just don’t think that’s right for you to teach them hatred of anything. You can tell them that Auburn is our arch rival, but you CANNOT use the word ‘hate.’ That is just a really bad idea.”

Sigh. “Okay.  Fine. Sorry. It wasn’t that I was….I was just… I mean they don’t really know about….oh, I’ll go fix it.”

“Boys! We don’t really hate Auburn…not really, but we DO want to beat them in football, but they’re not bad. I mean they’re okay…..But we don’t hate anybody, okay? Hate is bad.”

“Okay, Mom. Can we have a snack?”

me, wearing some Big Al, in 2000.


Now, just for the record I don’t really believe a word of that nicey/sweetie stuff I told the kids. TODAY is the DAY, and I HOPE we SMASH Auburn to bits. They are an obnoxious speed bump on our way to National Championship. And it never matters who has the better team–you just never know what’s going to happen at the Iron Bowl.

I got my Bachelor of Science degree from Alabama, and I will be loyal forever.  ROLL TIDE!!



  • Been there, got the tee shirt. I have to say that my husband was equally patient and RIGHT when he suggested that I was going overboard. And I naturally I took offense. Now that I am reading Crucial Conversations, I see the pitfalls myself. Go Heels!

  • Elizabeth

    Haha!! I got a shout-out on your blog! Ultimately, it’s still just a game! Maybe your kids don’t get the rivalry but you are doing a wonderful job of teaching them about the things in life that actually are important and eternal! And for the record we don’t “hate” Auburn either; we just don’t like them very much at all! 🙂 Roll Tide!

    • Hey, Elizabeth! Yeah, I got a little overzealous in my attempts at teaching rivalry. Meanwhile, we’re super excited about the Iron bowl victory! Roll Tide! Hope you didn’t mind the shout out!

  • Oh man, yes! We can certainly relate! just different team rivalries… Colorado State vs. WYO. And our family is divided–my sister-in-law and her family for Colorado vs. everyone else for Wyoming. We’ve made sure to teach our boys well, even though their aunt and uncle try pretty hard to brainwash them with Colorado nonsense. 🙂 sure, it’s just a game, but it’s so fun!

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