In Football, There Are Lions & Tigers & Bears, Oh My!

College Bowl Season, an exciting time for fans and players alike. Athletes take it to the gridiron for one final chance to show they are the best. Existing records are broken, new records are set; some dreams are realized while others are squashed. Personally, my loyalties are sometimes divided, especially during bowl season where two teams that I like equally well may face off. In those times, what’s a girl to do?

Would you believe me if I told you there is a scientific method for choosing a favorite team? No? Well, there is a method, at least for me anyhow. Now, whether that method proves to be scientific or not, is still under further review.

Just about every state has a college rivalry: Texas A&M University vs. Texas University, Florida State vs. Florida, Oklahoma State vs. Oklahoma, Oregon State vs. Oregon, Boise State vs. Idaho…Growing up in South Carolina the big rivalry was between Clemson and the University of South Carolina.

Though I’m unsure how it happened, I ended up a Clemson Tiger fan, which is interesting considering that most of my high school friends from South Carolina are Gamecock fans. Perhaps it was the week I spent on campus, in the dorms one summer? I still have a glass Coke bottle from when they took the National Championship in 1981, a fact that I manage to work into numerous conversations.

My husband is very much a Texas A&M fan. Interestingly enough, when we first married I liked the Longhorns. What can I say? I was 18, and didn’t know any better, but I came over to the dark side many years ago. Before the Aggies moved to the SEC, they played against Clemson and boy were those games hard to watch.

In addition to being a Clemson Tiger and Texas Aggie fan, I am also a Baylor Bear fan. Since my daughter goes to school there, I have to cheer for them. These first three picks would make sense right; loyalty to my home state, loyalty to my adopted state and loyalty to my daughter’s school, but what about the rest of the time? Here is where it gets interesting, and my children just shake their heads at my logic.

If my family is watching a game that I might not really care about, I’ll ask who they are cheering for and then I decide whether to beat them or join them based on two things: 1) Is the team from the South? 2) Do I like their jerseys? Number one is the reason I may cheer for Alabama, Ole’ Miss, and LSU. If neither team playing is from the South, then I choose based on who has the best jerseys. As you can imagine, this logic does have its flaws.

There was never doubt that I would cheer for Clemson against Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl, but Alabama against Michigan State in the Cotton Bowl was a tough call. Normally I would root for ‘Bama. I mean, they are definitely from the South, plus I like to say, “Roll Tide,” but Clemson had already secured a spot in the National Championship game, and I just was not sure I wanted to see them play Alabama. So, I broke my number one rule and cheered for the non-Southern team. Michigan State did have the better jerseys though, so that made it okay, yes?

Reading this column may bring a tear or two to your eyes because sadly, it means that college football season is over and a new National Champion has been named. Hopefully that title belongs to Clemson rather than Alabama, but if not, there’s always next year, right?

Here’s to gridiron rivalries, scientific methods and extraordinary jerseys!

Until Next Time,

Becky J Miller
“Warrior Princess”

*Additionally, you can read my “Living Outside The Lines” post on San Marcos Corridor News.

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