If you live in Alabama, it's almost imperative you have to pick a side.
Alabama or Auburn?
With no disrespect at all to the other teams that reside in this football-crazed state, I think you get the idea.
I will start with the fact I am a lifelong Alabama fan, but this article is not about me being on one side or the other.
It is about the feelings shared between the majority, but not all, of the fans of both teams. This feeling or state of mind is one which should be buried forever—in more ways than one.
That feeling or emotion is hate.
In all honesty, I want Alabama to beat Auburn each and every time we square off, in any kind of competition.
It is my right to pull for my team, and it is what I do, along with all other Crimson Tide faithful.
Right alongside is Auburn, who wants to beat Alabama in the same situations, and the Auburn faithful have the same right, and that is also what they do for their team.
Here is where the ugly part comes in to play.
Some, and again I emphasize some, fans of both sides will tell you they hate the other, for no other reason than they just do.
Now, I don't know how many of you will agree with me, but this is a ridiculous emotion, feeling, or whatever you want to call it. It just has to be removed from this rivalry.
I get it; we both want to be better than the other.
We both want to win the Iron Bowl. We both want to establish our dominance in the state for the next year, win bragging rights, or whatever you want to call it.
With that said, do we really have to hate each other?
I am willing to bet that the real players here, the upcoming young men on that field each and every week, are not a part of this unsupported hate in which some fans participate.
I am also willing to bet that they play across from high school friends a lot of the time, and even though they want to win, they don't buy into that emotion at all.
And we are the adults here?
We talk about how they are young kids, and about how they need guidance for doing things they shouldn't, but then we talk about one another in such a hateful and disrespectful way just because they pull for the opposite team?
I know this article might fall upon deaf ears and might not make a difference one way or the other, but we should try to remember one thing.
It's a game—and there is no room for hate in it.