Sports: Countdown to Kickoff … 12 Days of SEC Football

It’s that magical time of year when I transform from my normal mouthy, sassy pants self into the Queen of SEC football in general and that obnoxious Bama fan in particular. Some people get excited about fall. Others can’t wait until Halloween. But when the leaves start to fall, I count down the days to the the first University of Alabama football game like a kid waiting on Christmas.

After attending Tulane University (Go Green Wave, hey!) in New Orleans, I spent two magical years at the Capstone. It didn’t take many home games at Bryant Denny Stadium for me to be hooked. I’ve been sporting crimson ever since.

I get my love of college football honestly. As a young child, I spent many Saturdays sitting on my Papa Moore’s lap watching games and soaking in his considerable knowledge. He refereed southern, middle Tennessee high school football and I often traveled with him to watch. I can remember sitting in the bleachers just being in awe of his command of the field.

He taught me everything I know, a fact that chagrins a lot of men. Once at a bar in Tullahoma during a heated Bama/Tennessee game, an unsuspecting guy sitting beside me yelled, “Hey, that’s defensive pass interference,” after his receiver dropped the ball.

“No it’s not,” I replied.

“What do you know about it,” he replied as the bartender and my two male friends rolled their collective eyes and gave me an oh boy, here we go look.

“Well, for one, he was going for the ball. When two eligible players make a simultaneous and bonafide attempt on the ball, they have equal rights. My guy never took his eye off the ball. Second, there must be an obvious intent to impede. My guy got his feet tangled with yours. That’s incidental contact. Calm down.”

He got mad and left. See what I mean chagrined. Sigh.

Each year, I countdown the 12 days leading up to the first Bama game in the spirit of the Twelve Days of Christmas song. I thought you might enjoy a peek at my fanaticism and maybe glean a few ideas for amping up your own fandom. Enjoy!

Day 1: On the first day leading up to college kick off in order to win the SEC, I add a clever new frame to my Facebook profile pic. Last year, FB added the ability to set temporary frames and this August when they nudged me to do it again, I gladly agreed. You can set your profile frame to your favorite SEC team too by going to www.facebook.com/profileframes. It’s super easy. They also feature frames for the Tennessee Titans and Nashville Predators.

Day 2: On the second day leading up to college kick off in order to win the SEC, I change my Facebook cover to an Alabama-themed one. In the past, I borrowed cool Bama art I found online or official team pictures. Last year, I just went with the ubiquitous crimson A on a hounds tooth background. This year I flexed my graphic design muscles and designed my own: a crimson and hounds tooth background with my favorite Nick Saban quote: “Mediocre people don’t like high achievers, and high achievers don’t like mediocre people.” Yes, I know I’m a brat. I can’t help it.

Day 3: On the third day leading up to college kick off in order to win the SEC, I download my favorite college football apps to my smart phone. I have three favorites: the CBS Sports apps, the ESPN app, and official College Football Playoffs (CFP) app. I like the CBS app because it gives the betting line for each game. I don’t actually bet on college ball. I’m too thrifty for that but I like to guess based on the line anyway. The ESPN app is an inside joke. Every time I get a score update, it plays the “da da da da da da” and people look at me funny. Their responses amuse me. My fave is the CFP app, but it’s not really relevant until the first official ranking come out on October 31.

The famous Gallette’s Yellow Hammer Slammer … it’s a home game tradition in Tuscaloosa.

Day 4: On the fourth day leading up to college kick off in order to win the SEC, I decide on this season’s signature cocktail. I’m not gonna lie, I tend to stress drink during games. It’s best if I pick one thing and stick with it through four quarters. In years past, I’ve chosen things like Firefly Sweet Tea vodka and Purity Lemonade. A couple of years ago, my favorite bartender at London’s in Tullahoma, Mikey Anderson, and I came up with The Sabanator. I can’t remember exactly what was in it but I think it involved tequila. We called it the Sabanator because as Mikey put it, “it’s kinda mellow in the first half but kicks your ass after halftime.” Ha! This year, I’ll pay homage to Gallettes, the famous college bar near the stadium, by drinking their signature concoction the Yellowhammer Slammer. It’s vodka, rum, Amaretto, orange juice, and pineapple juice. Yum!

Days 5, 6, and 7: On the fifth, sixth, an seventh days leading up to college kick off in order to win the SEC, I transform my smartphone into all things Bama. I change my home screen to cool new Bama art and make Sweet Home Alabama my new ring tone. This year, I discovered a cool new iPhone app that let’s me download Bama specific emojis. Sweet!

Day 8: On the eighth day leading up to college kick off in order to win the SEC, I buy a new Bama baseball cap. I own many and my favorites remind me of specifics seasons. I adore my black and white hounds tooth cap with the single crimson A. I bought it the year Nick Saban won his first UA National Championship. I’m also a big fan of my 2006 season cap. It’s a well-worn red cap with Bama across the front. That’s the year we suffered under Mike Shula. He started strong with a 5-2 record before the wheels came off and we lost four of the last five game. The university fired him in November and named defensive coordinator Joe Kines as interim head coach for the Independence Bowl game against Oklahoma State. We lost 34-31. It was a miserable season. That 2006 cap stands as proof that I’m no fair weather fan. I still wear it often.

Day 9: On the ninth day leading up to college kick off in order to win the SEC, I ping my Bama group text to make sure my boys are ready for kick off. I’ve been on the same Bama fan group text with four guy friends for years. I’m the only chick in the group. We watch games together as often as possible. Last year, one the guys, my cousin Jason, and I attended the LSU/Bama game at Tiger Stadium and had a blast. We stay in constant contact during games no matter where we all are.

Day 10: On the tenth day leading up to college kick off in order to win the SEC, I make my College Football Saturday picks for the first Saturday of the season. I pick straight up winner for all the SEC games and all Top 25 games. I’m still working on this week’s picks. It will take me hours of reading prediction articles and looking at stats to decided. I post my picks on my personal FB page. I might start posting them on MJM page as well.

Check out these cute cut out college football t-shirt from Jae Lynn Boutique in Shelbyville. {Photo credit: Stacy Preston}

Day 11: On the eleventh day leading up to college kick off in order to win the SEC, I buy a new game day shirt from one of my favorite local boutiques, Jae Lynn in Shelbyville. It’s co-owned by two friends, Stacy Lynn Preston and Lori Jae Hoge. Stacy cheers for the University of Tennessee and Lori’s a Bama fan. They always carry the cutest game day couture. I’m headed there on Friday to pick out this season oh-so-fab outfit. I can’t wait. To learn more about them, visit their Facebook page.

Day 12: On the twelfth day leading up to college kick off in order to win the SEC, I drink a cup of coffee from my favorite Bama mug and watch ESPN College Game Day.

I hope everyone — no matter who you cheer for — enjoys the season. Roll Tide, y’all.

Written by: Tabitha D. Moore, Mason Jar Magazine, Editor

{Mason Jar Magazine covers food, dining, arts, culture, events, attractions, music, books, film, and recreation in a cluster of 18 small towns in southern, middle Tennessee including Bell Buckle, Belvidere, Cowan, Decherd, Estill Springs, Fayetteville, Huntland, Kelso, Lynchburg, Manchester, Monteagle, Mulberry, Normandy, Tullahoma, Sewanee, Shelbyville, Wartrace, and Winchester plus the best of what’s happening in Huntsville, Murfreesboro, Chattanooga, and Nashville.}